on solarium: maybe piezo, maybe wind


tokyo piezo subway floors (photo courtesy of "Politics in the Zeros" http://polizeros.com)

in considering solarium, thinking of different ways to power the thing. hand crank very maybe. but also maybe piezo? essentially, piezo techology collects kinetic energy via pressure/stress on certain materials (particular crystals, ceramics including bone) to generate energy in other forms. dance clubs, gyms, even the tokyo subway have and/or plan to adopt piezo flooring technology to help run their operations, reduce their electric bills, and be green. seems simple, so why hasn’t it been adopted everywhere? in part because the most popular piezoelectric materials in the past have contained lead (however, recently uc berkeley scientists have discovered one that doesn’t contained the nasty stuff) and in part because while piezo generates voltage, it generates very little current so issues of efficiency, cost vs. return, as well as energy storage, etc.. re solarium, it’s a consideration, but it does take us away from the diy approach in making these spaces and possibly away from using recycled materials… unless we figure out a diy old stuff piezo solution. or scrap the idea and go back to handcrank. or windpower? hey, what about windpower?!

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