Ever since we’ve been in elementary school we have been lectured on the dangers of mixing water and electricity. It seems like if you pursue the Internet long enough you are bound to find some bizarre story about a bathroom appliance finding its way into a tub, only to fry its owner.
It’s an understood law that water and electricity shouldn’t mix. On the other hand, nearly a fourth of the world’s energy is powered by water.
Water has tremendous energetic qualities, and that energy can be funnelled into electricity. When we think of hydro power plants we think of enormous dams, and huge water reservoirs, but hydro power may be finding its way into our personal lives very quickly.
And here comes Hydro Power Walking Shoes
Robert Komarechka of Ontario, Canada is working on a design of the hydro shoe that would capitalize the tremendous power of water on a much smaller scale.
Hydro Power walking shoe prototype by Robert Komarechka of Ontario
The technology behind Hydropower walking shoe
The Potential of H2O (water)
It is challenging for us to measure how much oomph water has; nevertheless if you have ever been rafting, you have experienced some of H2O’s potential. Consider the magnitude of water flowing in a river, and how kinetic energy is being generated. If you can visualize a river overflowing with its majestic currents and substantial undertows you have a very notable source of energy. Water has a high capacity for motion acquisition.
Hydro power shoe demo on the surface of a beach: An example to show that water has a high capacity for motion acquisition.
Power plants that cultivate this energy are designed to take this momentum and harness it, transforming it into power. The essence of hydro power is fairly basic: turbines are rotated by a source of water, which then empowers generators as highlighted below.
Hydropower facilities, contrary to popular belief, have minimal crucial components. To begin, there is the dam, which is leveraged to generate a basin source. Generally, these reservoirs are magnanimous bodies of water similar to the concept of a lake.
The next crucial aspect is the intake which unlocks the dam, creating a passage for the water. As a result kinetic energy is manufactured; this in turn allows the power to be harvested. Following this comes the turbine—the component that is integrated into, and rotates the generator.
Turbines have been known to have a weight of over 170 tons, and, in spite of this weight, can rotate nearly 100 times in just one minute. The turbine powers the generator. As the blades of the turbine move, a series of magnetic structures shift inside the generator as well.
Massive magnets revolve past coils made of copper, stimulating an alternating current or AC, eliminating the need for electrical conversion technology such as a magnum inverter. Once the AC is made you have electricity in the workings.
NB: Please note that inverters are made for conversion of direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC).
Komarechka realize the kinetic properties of walking and designed a brilliantly simple idea of harnessing the motion of a footstep and transforming the movement into energy. The idea is that fluid would be placed in conduit pipes and would be kept in constant motion by the foot walking.
The person who wore the shoes would have a small electrical receptor on his belt, or some other discreet place, that would connect to a tiny generator, while the shoes allow him to power small electronic devices.
We want to know how you feel about this hydro power walking shoe discovery! Also, if you have any comment, question or addition to this subject, please discuss them below.
Ben has a blast studying and writing about technology, especially now that he gets to do it vocationally vs. academically. He holds a Communications B.A. that he recently earned in California, which he leverages to support organizations like Don Rowe.