Yinger Jin, a student at the Wake Forest University in North Carolina, has invented a way of generating electricity using the waves swimmers make in pools.
Stories that contain both “electricity” and “swimming pool” usually don’t have a happy ending, as water, electric current and living organisms don’t mix too well. Still, this college student wants to prove us wrong. As great as solar and eolian energy may be, humans are far from being satisfied just with these. As a consequence, they develop new ways of producing green energy continuously. As inappropriate as it may sound, swimming pool electricity is in fact something real, and Yinger Jin proved the whole world how to do it.
Jin applied a physics principle that is actually quite simple. Assistant Professor of Mathematics Sarah Mason was the one who determined this college student to pursue a new way of generating green energy. While attending one of her mathematics courses on sustainable energy, Jin realized that pools are a currently unexploited source of energy.
His approach involves a water column that turns wave energy into electric current. As mentioned before, the waves are generated by swimmers when covering any distance in a pool.The column that Jin envisioned works in a similar way to a motor’s piston. When the wave is created, it pushes the air out of the column. As the water level goes down, air enters the piston again. A turbine located at the top of the column is used for generating the electricity.
The amount of electric current generated this way won’t power an entire building any time soon. In fact, according to Jin’s calculations, the electricity generated by swimmers could be used to power ten 100-watt bulbs. There is room for improvement in this theory, as this college student suggests that swimming pools are only the beginning. Coastal waves could generate a lot more electricity than swimmers in a pool will ever be able to. Of course, such a project would require a lot of funding, as well.
Just in case we ever run out of normal ways of producing electric current, we can always dig large pools and start using them as human generators, pretty much in the same way a hamster could be used for generating electricity when running inside a wheel.
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