Mobile Phones - Kinetic Energy: the Future of Charging?

By: David Collins

You know what it's like, when you need to make that all important call whilst out shopping or when your car breaks down, and all of a sudden you're the battery on your mobile is flat as a pancake.

There are many methods available for charging our mobile phones - from plug in chargers for our homes, adapters we can plug into the cigarette lighters in our cars, and even small pre-charged devices that give your battery a small burst of temporary power when you need it most.

But now there could be a new method of recharging in the works, one which taps into the most freely available source of energy on the planet, kinetic - or people power.

Already there are variety of devices that are charged using kinetic energy - such as watches and wind-up radios. But charging a mobile phone by simply walking?

It sounds a crazy concept, but it's a concept that has been the subject of scientific research into generating energy efficient prosthetics for many years.

And now scientists at a university in the United States have developed a brace that could potentially generate the power needed to charge small electronic devices, such as mobile phones.

The design is based around an orthopaedic knee brace, the unit currently weighs around 3.5 pounds, with the generator located by the side of the knee itself.

The generator works by harvesting kinetic energy from the movements of the knee in much the same way as a hybrid electric car, which generates energy from the braking process and transfers it back to the engine, where the energy is converted and stored.

It is predicted that such a device could one day help to power mobile phones and a variety of other electronic devices - from sat navs to laptops, and even pacemakers.

Cell Phones
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