Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Furniture generator

You're sitting down anyway, it seems a shame to waste all that potential energy.
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You sit down. You stand up. Energy is dissipated in the furniture padding and weight load is taken on by the framework. Instead of dissipating, all that energy could be turned into electrical energy by installing a dynamo under the cushion. As you sit down, the piston under the cushion goes down and the dynamo spins up some current. Not a lot, not enough to power a house or even a computer... but every chair could have a battery and a power outlet, and if you need to plug your laptop in you could, if there was some power built up, without having to trail a cord all the way to the wall. And as efficient as LEDs are these days, the energy generated by sitting down/standing up once a day could power a reading light for hours. And it wouldn't cost any extra energy... you're sitting down anyway, and standing back up wouldn't take any more effort than normal.

Between all the chairs, couch, chairs around the kitchen table and your bed, this could generate a lot of power. It could even be connected under the floor into one large power pool that could be accessed from any chair, but that step would kind of crimp any plans to rearrange the furniture.

Psalm_97, Feb 05 2012

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       Energy to arrange the furniture will always be greater than the energy required to arrange the furniture.
rcarty, Feb 05 2012
  

       an exoskeleton and trifurcate tail could be both furniture and generator.
FlyingToaster, Feb 05 2012
  

       Energy harvested from moving around is old news here.
xenzag, Feb 05 2012
  

       Agreed, this one is already thoroughly halfbaked, but just the fact that it keeps showing up in new forms indicates that it's a really good idea sorely in need of baking.
Alterother, Feb 05 2012
  

       // this could generate a lot of power.//   

       No it couldn't. A 100kg person sinking 10cm will produce 10J of energy, or enough to run a low- wattage bulb for 1 second. Numbers numbers numbers numbers.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 05 2012
  

       You can get usable light with far less power than that; a quarter of a watt is enough to read a book or avoid stumbling into furniture.   

       Nonetheless, it's a waste to try to harvest such a tiny amount of energy, unless it can be used immediately and directly. Maybe use the expansion of the cushion to suck farts through a carbon filter or something; train yourself to let go each time you get up.
spidermother, Feb 06 2012
  
      
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