Kinetic energy is the energy of an object in motion. Current a good portion of power plants use some technique to capture the kinetic energy, most commonly to spin turbines to generate electricity. In antithesis of this is inertia which refers to a stationary object. Kinetic energy dissipates after applied on an inert object through the forces of friction. Power plants that generate electricity through wind energy, hydroelectric power, geothermal power and fossil fuels use the kinetic energy in turbines to generate electricity.
Research is currently being developed to help gather the kinetic energy created by movements in humans and the objects we interact with to generate electricity as well. Although this cannot be used to power the grid of nations, it is something that can be applied on a more localized scale to provide power for a specific device or for minor battery storage capabilities.
Types of kinetic energy generation
Gyroscopes and magnets are the latest trend in localized power creation and this is currently being applied in some phones to help operate mobile devices. These devices are being implemented for some military troops who carry a variety of electronic devices to provide a renewable battery supply. The devices are strapped to belts, clothing or backpacks and work by using magnets attached with wire coils which capture the motion of the individual walking or shaking to generate an electric charge to charge a battery system. This method of generation is referred to as an inductive coil mechanism.
Recently, four students from Harvard University developed a way to use an inductive coil mechanism in soccer balls to store electricity for children in third world nations which can be used to operate reading lights from. This technology could revolutionize areas of the world that are off of the power grid and currently do not receive electricity generation by their governments’ power plants. The added side effect of this device, called the sOccket, is the subtle reinforcement of education through resources for developing nations.