In addition to the bigger sources of alternative energy--solar, wind, hydro--the future will hopefully see us capturing energy from all manner of smaller sources that are now wasted: Excess heat thrown off by computers, subway turnstiles cranked by millions per day, footfalls of commuters descending staircases.
One workable example of such sources is HighDro Power, a contraption that captures energy from falling wastewater--essentially, toilet flushes--and turns it into electricity. Same principle as a hydroelectric dam, just cleverly miniaturized and connected to our bathrooms.
HighDro Power was conceived of by Tom Broadbent, a recent industrial design graduate from the UK's Leicester's De Montfort University, and entered in both the Dyson Awards and the UK's Grand Designs Live.
"The inspiration for HighDro Power was literally a 'Eureka!' moment that came when I emptied a bath in a hotel and found that it cleared very quickly and with a large amount of force," explains Broadbent, who built a working prototype, seen above. "It seemed logical that this energy should be harnessed in some way to create green electricity and help governments meet targets and it filled an obvious gap in the market."
via creative boom