Friday, August 31, 2007
No. 0031 - Grocery Cart Static Generator
Now not all of my methods mentioned above can entirely prevent me from getting shocked. On one particular instance, I was at Costco grocery shopping with a metal cart. I was holding the metal handle bar as I was maneuvering the cart around the store until I felt a slight but sharp poke at my palm. That occurred 2-3 more times afterwards so I thought I was grabbing a sharp corner of the metal weld. Then I started to push the cart with my hands gripping the side of the cart. Same thing! After feeling being pricked several times, I started to inspect the welds of the shopping cart and it looked smooth and fine. It was then I realized it was the cart that was shocking me repeatedly as the plastic wheel was generating the charge as it is rubbing with the floor. Out of this experience came an idea. What if each shopper that shops at a grocery store is asked to connect themselves to a store central battery of sort via a cable. As the shopper moves about the store with their cart, he or she will generate the charge and the cable will take that charge towards the storage (i.e. battery). Now I can assure you the charges and current from only one shopper might not be very significant, but imagine how many grocery stores are out there in this nation? Imagine how many people travel in and out of those stores everyday? With this type of masses, I would have to say that this stored up electricity might be able to add up to something. Now it would be pretty ridiculous to see millions of shopper all connected at the wrist to the building because eventually all will get tangled up pretty easily. But considering the energy crunch that we are all experiencing as a country today, should a few knots or trip and tumble really matter?