Renewable energy, otherwise known as clean energy, has created a lot of buzz in the scientific world. This clean energy can generate electricity from natural resources such as wind, heat, rain, tides without the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It can help one quarter of humanity with no access of electricity.
There have been other ideas suggested for electricity production like solar paneled sheds in car parking and even solar paneled roadways. These ideas work best on large scale, but on personal level, may be a shoe will work better to charge your gadgets on the go.
Did you know you can charge your phone just by walking? I am sure, not. But this kid from Philippine knows it pretty well. He was able to produce electricity from shoe insole every time the user takes step. 15-year-old Angelo Casimiro, has been working on this project for five years. Over the years, he has perfected his idea. His main motivation came from the fact that two-fifths of population in his country has no electricity.
His prototype is made up of piezoelectric materials, which generate electricity when pressure is applied on them. His initial prototype had only two piezo-discs which produced enough power to light up three LEDs. However, now the device can charge cellphones, batteries and other electronic devices very easily.
The teenager, while explaining his project, says, “Piezoelectricity was present ever since mid-18th century. Piezoelectricity is the electric charge that accumulates in certain solid materials (such as crystals, certain ceramics in response to applied mechanical stress.”
Angelo did not want to use motors or gears to generate electricity because they are robust, noisy, cranky and discomforting for the user. He tried to think out of the box keeping in mind the user’s ease and avoiding the dependence on natural sources for renewable energy. He submitted his project for Google’s Science Fair 2014 and became the regional finalist.
The device is fully operational but not ready for mass distribution. The device can supply independent power for smart shoes and clothing, aid outdoorsmen with GPS tracking, provide electricity in energy scarce areas and can be used as self-powering rescue chips.
See Angelo describe his project in detail in the video below.