Submissions that have been rejected by the Creativity Pool. - The Docks aren't necessarily the final destination, if a broken idea gets fixed it may travel to a more appropriate category.
By treadair
#5468
In the US there are 39 states that now require utilities to allow net-metering, meaning they have to let companies put electricity back into the grid and pay them for it. Not long ago I was taking a tour through one of the our company's factories and got into a discussion with one of the supervisors about the huge amount of noise out on the plant floor. We looked into possible ways to take advantage of it and thought some system based on a dynamic microphone might work (dynamic microphones convert sound into electrical energy when the sound waves push against a diaphragm, moving a coil back and forth over a magnet.) Passive amplifiers could have even been added to boost the decibel level and resulting power. Unfortunately the plant was shut down before we could do any tests.

There are other places where this line of thinking might turn out to be profitable though. Planes for instance. 747's have a big auxilliary power unit (APU) in the rear that produces electricity for various purposes. If the engine noise was converted into electricity it might be possible to have a smaller that could handle the load, thereby decreasing the overall weight of the plane and giving it better fuel mileage.

Another place would be windmill parks. Having never been to one I had to do a little research, but it turns out that the windmills make a lot of noise. Modifying them so they converted the noise into electricity would make them even more of a bargain


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By Steve
#5514
Nice idea - something very similar has already been submitted here. ;-D
By treadair
#5520
Hadn't seen the idea before but after reading it, and the comments attached to it, I can see that the only thing different between the two is that mine contains three viable implementations that don't have the drawbacks Rishi mentioned (spotty availability). The noise from an airplance engine will always be constant when it's in flight; the noise on a factory floor will always be constant when the conveyer belts are running (metal ones make the most noise); and the noise from windmills on a windmill farm will always be present when the windmills are turning (although this last implementation will suffer from the same availability issues as the windmills themselves - it would only increase the power output of the windmills).
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By Steve
#5521
If you could attach your implementations to that thread it would be cool - always trying to keep things together. :-)
By treadair
#5522
Here's an addendum on the possible implentation methods.

1. The following link describes the auxilliary power units that are
currently being used on 747's (down near the bottom).
Equipment capable of producing electricity similar to the way
dynamic microphones do could be added to these power units to
reduce their energy consumption, saving the airlines money
either by allowing for the usage of smaller/lighter APU's or
reducing the amount of fuel required to run the APU's.

http://members.shaw.ca/translink/ac-7474.htm

2. The following link describes a study that was done to see how
much money people would be willing to pay to get rid of windmill
farms. It turned out that the closer they lived to them the more
they were willing to pay. The reason for this was the amount of
noise produced by the windmills. I'm including the link just to
verify that the windmills do indeed produce noise as a byproduct
and that being the case, the efficiency of the windmills could be
increased by adding a device capable of converting that noise
into electricity (again based on the way dynamic microphones
work).

http://www.akf.dk/eng/wind0.htm

3. As far as implementing it in a factory setting goes, personal
experience has shown me that some of them can be quite noisy.
I don't have a link showing how loud the ones I've been in were
but here's a chart of average noise levels from different
sources. It was taken from the link below it. (According to the
chart it looks like elevated trains might make another candidate
for one of these energy-producing devices.)

Aircraft: Near the Plane 140 dbA
Aircraft: Residence Near Airport 80 to 90 dbA
Elevated Train 120 dbA
Industrial Plant 100 dbA
Auto Horn at 25 ft. 100 dbA
Jazz Band 85 to 100 dbA
Loud Stereo 90 dbA
Person Shouting 80 dbA
Noisy Household 75 dbA and up
Truck at 25 ft. 75 dbA
Busy Street at Curb 70 dbA
Dense Traffic at 200 ft. 65 dbA
Office Conversation 60 dbA
Average Conversation 50 dbA
Quiet Household 40 dbA
Quiet Conversation 25 dbA

http://www.usg.com/Design_Solutions/2_3 ... anning.asp
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By Steve
#5523
Nice! ;-D Could you post it to the other thread? This is just The Docks. ;-)
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