Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Jumping Solar Panels

Solar (initiated) electricity from Mexican Jumping Beans <link>
 
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The top panel is a removable glass cover – tinted to prevent extreme heat. Beneath it is a series of narrow channels (1cm wide x 2cm high). The length and number of channels depends on the size of the panel. Both the bottom and the sides of the channels are made of piezoelectric materials.

Fill channels with Mexican Jumping Beans, but don’t pack them in – they need a little breathing room. Replace cover.

When the sun hits the panel and warms up the little guys inside they’ll get all spastic and start bouncing around the channels. Behold the awesome power of the Mexican Jumping Bean - harnessed at last.

Shz, Feb 03 2003

Mexican Jumping Beans http://www.mexconne...ctjumpingbeans.html
Just in case... Some may not know what these are – they’re illegal to import in a couple countries. [Shz, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

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       My point is that if they’re packed in tightly it would inhibit them from bouncing around. "Room to move" may have been a better description.
Shz, Feb 03 2003
  

       You'd get more energy by burning the beans. On the other hand, a quick calculation/guess based on 5 g beans jumping 1 centimetre every 2 seconds suggests you'd need about 4 million of them to run a 1 kW electric kettle, assuming your piezoelectric doohickies can convert all their kinetic energy to electricity.
kropotkin, Feb 03 2003
  

       Very generous [krop]! That practically doubles the “awesome power” I came up with.
Shz, Feb 03 2003
  

       Piezoelectric materials are great at generating voltages; they're horrible at producing current.
beauxeault, Feb 03 2003
  

       That's odd. You can't just hook up some wires and let Ohm do his dirty work?
RayfordSteele, Feb 03 2003
  

       Actually my solar panel put out 8v ac when exposed to a constant noise. Implying that the solar cell does exhibit some piezo electric conversion of energy from a normal 4.5v DC solar panel.
travbm, Nov 01 2015
  
      
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