Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Home hydro-electric system to charge minor electrical gadgets.

  [vote for,

Introducing the NMRM Corp charging system!

The toilet + cistern is raised by a modest vertical spacer which is hardly perceptible*.

When flushed, the water runs down the elongated pipe, turning a small hydro-ecletic turbine and so making leccy.

Note, the output is a USB port on the side of cistern, available in white, green and puce.

*15 ft

not_morrison_rm, Dec 22 2018


       Hmm. I'm thinking maybe 10kg of water falling 3m, so that's 300Nm, or 300 Joules. That's 5W for 60s. You are going to have to pee a lot more than you phone.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 22 2018

       They did, but it was called VW back then.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 22 2018

       They didn't have a lot of things in the 60s; ozone depletion, AIDS, the Internet, compact discs, gene splicing, GPS, The Spice Girls ...   

       Things were better then ...
8th of 7, Dec 22 2018

       //gene splicing// Surely they did. It's nowadays that nobody "splices" a gene. Back then you had to untwist the strands, plait them together, then run some whipcord over it and finish off with a good coat of tar. Of course, DNA was bigger back then.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 22 2018

       That's probably because it was all on 7-hole punched paper tape, rather than amino-acid base pairs.   

       Of course, the upside was that you could edit it with nothing more than some sticky labels and a sharpened 2B pencil ...
8th of 7, Dec 22 2018

       Why, back in my day, we did it all with scissors, tape, and 35mm film. The soundtrack came later.
RayfordSteele, Dec 23 2018

       Some commercial roofs are a large surface areas of singular purpose .
wjt, Dec 23 2018

       // The soundtrack came later. //   

       Of course, before 1950 almost all DNA was only in black-and-white, too. When you look at pictures from that era, everyone's grey.   

       Only the very wealthy could afford to go to a professional painter and have their DNA colourized.
8th of 7, Dec 23 2018

       //10kg of water falling 3m   

       Aha, this is the clever bit, included in the price is a 5 cubic metre flush tank.   

       For modest extra fee(s) you get the "Thames" tank 10m3, the "Nile" at 20m3 and finally the "Amazon" at 30m3. Available in Beige, Taupe and Angry Plumber Chartreuse .
not_morrison_rm, Dec 23 2018

       How much is the "modest extra fee" for having all the walls reinforced to take the huge additional load ?
8th of 7, Dec 23 2018

       You should have read the small print <sound of evil laughter>
not_morrison_rm, Dec 23 2018

       ^ ?
not_morrison_rm, Dec 23 2018

       A contemporary of Gene Roddenberry and Gene Shoemaker. Specialised in biochemistry.
8th of 7, Dec 23 2018

Canuck, Dec 25 2018

MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 25 2018


       (Homer Simpson, allegedly)   


       the orange-faced one, maybe.   

       As nicked from the emoticons list wikipedia
not_morrison_rm, Dec 25 2018

       Rather than putting a turbine on the tank that is elevated 15 feet, just put the turbine in the filler valve. A pressure drop of 40 - 60 psi typically found in residential plumbing is equivalent to ~90 to ~140 feet of head.   

       The big challenge is making the turbine cheaper than the cost of all the electricity it will ever produce.
scad mientist, Dec 28 2018

       Hmm, well seeing as the water supplier does the pumping the water up to the tank...I would have thought the electricity generated would be low cost, no?   

       If you're turbine averse, then a cascade of Tesla fluid valves pulling on a dynamo should work. If it was made out of transparent plastic, it might be kind of pretty to watch.   

       Obviously you'd need some mesh filters on both ends of the valvey bit, to keep confused salmon trying to use it as a fish-ladder.
not_morrison_rm, Dec 28 2018

       // making the turbine cheaper //   

       It would only be economic if the property already had a PV installation with battery storage, as the output from the turbine will be erratic.   

       If it was integrated with the float valve, it might be possible to manufacture it for about USD $20 in quantity; it would make sense to sell the actual dynamo as an add-on.   

       As a plus, such a device would also function as a water meter.
8th of 7, Dec 28 2018

       One could wait until a fair amount of waste had accumulated and then capitalized on the increased mass to get a larger charge. Or better - convert liquid mass to steam and keep it under pressure. Over time, very large pressures could become possible and on venting the pressure vessel a lot of energy could be harvested. There might be one special day when the whole city vented their pressure vessels at once, and you would stay indoors on that day.
bungston, Dec 29 2018

       This reminds me of my thought experiment about putting a sort of backwards Archimedes screw at the bottom of a down-pipe, to capture the energy of occasional heavy downpours.
pertinax, Dec 29 2018

       An Archemedian screw is acceptability efficient as a low-speed low-head pump that has good immunity to blockages, but is otherwise very poor as an energy-conversion device. A Pelton wheel would be a much better choice.   

       However, unless you have a building with a huge roof area, positioned in the tropics and subject to daily massive rainfall, the amount of energy recovered is unlikely to recoup the costs of installation and maintenance; and you need a battery system to store the power generated.
8th of 7, Dec 30 2018


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