Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Power your own Cell Phone

A Faraday-style battery charger is currently in the works by a company called M2E Power. The idea is that you can be charging your cell phone, GPS device, or other small personal device while you walk around during the day. (Brilliant!) The technology is based on Michael Faraday's Principle of electric current generation from electromagnatism, where either a magnet is passed repeatedly across a coil of wire, or the wire is made to vibrate next to a magnet. There is a nice wiki article if you are interested in the speceifics.
This is not a new idea, by any means, yet as we evolve into a more mobile society, and are increasingly concerned with renewable energy sources, we can see the value in honing this technology into widely usable applications.

Right now M2E Power is also working to develop recharging D and AA batteries for military use (for equipment like night goggles) which would be a tremendous help to soldiers who often have to carry a huge amount of batteries for their missions, and pack them out again so they don't leave evidence of their location. Having just a few batteries that are recharging while they are moving to a new location would be an excellent solution to the problem of all that extra weight. Plus, if the US military switched to Faraday rechargable batteries, think of how many fewer batteries would be expended each year!
Batteries that are recharged using kinetic motion are an excellent example of how old technologies can be honed into use for the small, more energy efficient devices that we use today. Faraday's Principle didn't have much practical use back then, but by combining technologies, and melding them together, they become incredibly powerful. Folks, lets face it, combined technologies is the furture of sustainable energy!

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