As solar panels and wind turbines become more and more commonplace in homes, it appears that green energy is finally moving into mainstream. But lest you fear that solar power is becoming too played out, there are still plenty of TRULY ALTERNATIVE energy sources to out there to sink your trendspotting teeth into. From kinetic energy to sound-power and even natural waste (yes, poo), there are more and more creative, weird, and super-promising ways to deliver all the power you need from renewable energy sources all around us. Here are our top 5 Really Alternative Energy Sources…..
1. POO POWER Yes, we’re serious. Poop produces methane, which is not only a greenhouse gas, but can be harnessed and used for viable renewable energy. While the technology and processes are still being refined, it’s not unlikely that cow manure will be the new solar panel in the coming years. Dogs and even human waste might eventually join the poo parade as well.
2. SOUND ENERGY While there isn’t a residential prototype for this technology built yet, the idea that soundwaves could be transformed into usable energy is not only promising, but mind-blowing. University of Utah Physicist Orest Symko and his students have developed a way to turn excess heat into sound and finally into electricity, and we can’t wait to see this technology applied to home energy.
3. HUMAN MOTION We’ve seen this technology used in the Sustainable Dance Club as well as in Hong Kong’s human-powered gyms, and the principle could easily be applied to residences as well. When we humans walk, dance, work out, run, move, we create energy. Through new technology, this energy can be harnessed into usable energy to cycle back into our buildings, dance clubs, gyms, and homes. Its only a matter of time before the Sustainable Dance Club concept comes makes inroads into the home.
4. WIND-KINETICS Going way beyond a simple wind turbine, Michael Jantzen’s Wind Shaped Pavilion turns architecture into renewable energy source. The kinetic wind house is a large fabric structure that rotates in segments around a central support frame, generating enough electricity as it moves to light the pavilion at night. This concept takes wind power to a whole new level.
5. SPINACH (i.e photosynthesis) Not just full of nutrients for your body, spinach also has the potential to nourish your house. The winning entry from the Cradle to Cradle House competition proposed an amazing solar energy harvesting system based on photosynthesis, using a solar cell system whose main component for generating electricity is a protein called Photosystem I, which is derived from spinach.