Yale Engineering Students Demonstrate New Ways to Harvest Energy

New Ways to Harvest Energy

Yale seniors will demonstrate two engineering projects on energy harvesting — a sidewalk that generates storable electrical energy as you walk on it and a human-powered iPod charger — from noon to 1, Friday April 25, in front of Becton Engineering Center at 15 Prospect Street. The public and the media are invited.

“Imagine, instead of wasting energy as we walk or exercise, capturing energy that can be used in another way,” said their advisor Associate Professor Ainissa Ramirez. “Come see the future tools of energy harvesting that these students have devised.”

As part of a mechanical engineering design course, two students, David Alexander and Matt Perille, designed and created a sidewalk that is based on piezoelectric materials. When you step on these materials, electricity is created that can be stored and in the future could be used to charge a small appliance like a cell phone.

A second project, designed by Maribeth Martens, is a human-powered iPod charger. The more than 140 million iPods in the world all require electricity to power up. This project demonstrates one alternative to reduce their energy consumption. “Such an apparatus could be attached to an exercise bike, so that the person getting a work-out is charging their iPod as well,” said Ramirez.

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Media Contact

Janet Rettig Emanuel: janet.emanuel@yale.edu, 203-432-2157