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Sonic generators

no, not the hedgehog.
  (+3, -1)
(+3, -1)
  [vote for,

You are looking at the latest skyscraper to be erected in the downtown core, seemingly for the sole purpose of blotting out the last vestige of scenery remaining to you, when you notice that the building has these enormous dimples, several stories in diameter, recessed into the outer steel and glass walls.
Bored yet intrigued, you head inside and type the name of the building into a search engine to see if you can figure out what the architect could have been thinking when it was designed because it sure wasn't the stress level of the members of the window washers union.
It turns out that the design is a new concept in power generation which uses huge parabolic dishes to focus the sound from noisiest sections of the surrounding city to receiving stations on the rooftops of neighboring structures. You learn that the receivers use the frequency of this collected noise to vibrate thousands of thin copper rods protruding from a central globe at the receivers' core. An outer globes' inner surface is covered with powerful magnets and the rods oscillations back and forth across these magnets provides the electricity to run the buildings lighting, elevators and emergency systems.
Suddenly you know just what you're going to do with that satellite dish collecting cobwebs behind the garage.

Halfbakery: Energy from Freeway Sound Barriers http://www.halfbake..._20Sound_20Barriers
Without the collection mechanism, though. [jutta, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

It has begun. http://www.physlink...Vibration-Power.cfm
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Sep 22 2011]


       not sure about the physics of it but it's certainly a progressive idea. i've read of efficiencies being built into windows, ventilation systems etc., but this seems original.   

       would like to see the math on this one but (+).
xclamp, May 17 2004

       Math is one area I am completely unable to help you (or me) with [xclamp] [Verdachi], if I caught that name right in the split second before I deleted your annotation, my apologies. It was not intentional and I hope you don't take my action as a normal halfbakery greeting.   

       Excellent. With all that cheap electricity I can really rack up the volume on my sound system. Oh.
dobtabulous, May 18 2004

       Unless I'm mistaken, this would largely be white noise (probably some shade of pink, actually), that is it contains frequencies across the spectrum. It will be difficult to capture energy from this source in the described manner. The movement of the conductors within the magnetic field would probably be minimal as the sound contains frequencies which would be both sympathetic and destructive to (interfere with) the desired oscillations of the system. It might work better if somehow you could mechanically filter the sound for specific frequencies. Maybe the outer globe can somehow act as a filter?   

       At least that's what I think until someone smarter than me says otherwise. If you can tie your own shoes, step up and weigh in.
Gromit, May 18 2004

As for the different frequencies, the lengths of the rods could be changable.

       Hon, the battery is dead. Can you blow into this thing for a couple of minutes, and then we'll get going?
theircompetitor, May 20 2004

       Not enough energy in sound waves to be worth the effort.
DrCurry, May 20 2004

       I suppose you could extract a wee bit of energy if you placed a very large yet low mass permanent magnet loudspeaker (which will act as a microphone/generator) near a pothole in the road or near a scene of frequent car accidents.
Gromit, May 20 2004

       //Hon, the battery is dead. Can you blow into this thing for a couple of minutes, and then we'll get going?//   

       Who needs a breakdown: After ten minutes, and with a smile on his face, the man turns the starter key and the engine roars to life.
FloridaManatee, May 24 2004

       //this would largely be white noise //   

       What's needed, in fact, is not dimples but cochleas - giant stainless-steel cochleas. Also, for sound capture, we should take a cue from nature and add giant steerable bunny-ears.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 24 2011

       Wouldn't large, sheet-like arrays of Piezo crystals serve the same function?
Alterother, Sep 24 2011

       Maybe, but would they work as cheaply?   


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