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LED powered by ENERGY HARVESTING and nano-dynamo generator. possible ? Answered

I have seen a dance floor which lights up LEDs powered by footsteps.  What is the generator that powers the LEDs? 

I want to make an art project that places an generator in a tree and harvests the kinetic energy to power LEDs at night.  To take place at a music festival in 2011.

Is there a system that I can build or parts that I can buy?

Would love the help as the idea is burning away in my head and i need to get started.

Thanks

Will

5 Replies

user
jeff-o (author)2010-08-16

Linear Electronics makes an energy harvesting IC that is designed to harvest electricity from micropower generators, like piezoelectric, thermoelectric, solar and wind generators. Check it out.

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kelseymh (author)2010-08-12

Do you have a link to some documentation which says it was powered by the footsteps?

As Steveastrouk noted, almost every light-up dance floor works by having sensors to detect movement, connected to lights which are powered by the Great Magical Generators that keep your lights, microwave, and XBox running.

If you want a wind turbine connected to a whole lot of batteries (like a few kilowatt UPS system), you can certainly do that, either by buying or building a system. You are not going to get any usable power from people moving about randomly on a surface.

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robotguy4 (author)2010-08-12

Maybe by using a joule thief?

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orksecurity (author)2010-08-12

Are you sure the floor was powered by the footsteps? I'd think it would be Really Hard to both get enough power and keep the floor stable enough to be safely danced upon. Harvesting the kinetic energy of a tree -- I think I'd go for a cable strung between two branches, spring-loaded, and wrapped around a pulley to drive a generator when the wind moved the branches -- see, eg, the designs for "wind belts" here on instructables, which are similarly trying to gather energy from relatively small but frequently-repeated motions.. You might need many of these to get enough power to do anything interesting.

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steveastrouk (author)orksecurity2010-08-12

+1 I built a dance floor years ago which SENSED the movement - you need a lot of watts to power it.

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