Science: Energy
static electricity suit   (+4, -3)  [vote for, against]
suit that could harness static electricity

My favourite jumper is made from some kind of synthetic material (can't remember what), and everytime I wear it, it makes my hair stand up on end and crackles (the jumper, not my hair). I don't know how to make this a useful power source but a multi-layered synthetic fabric with interwoven strands might create a fair bit of static. this could be used to power a GPS beacon, flashlight, walkman, walkie-talkie or a warming device (in the style of an electric blanket). It could be useful for mountaineers, policemen, polar bear hunters etc.

I hope this isn't already baked, I did have a quick look but my eyes are like burnt holes in a blanket (or so I've been told).
-- timo, Jul 17 2002

Stop Static Campaign
Self explainatory (sorry about popups) [Mr Burns, Jul 17 2002]

Beware ! http://www.halfbake...7s_20Fire_20Brigade
These people might want a word with you ... [8th of 7, Jul 18 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]

The Carpeted Man
A member of the superhero group the Civic Minded Five [duroncrush, Oct 17 2004]

Ah, static electricity: So much voltage, so little current.

The actual amount of available energy is so small (unless you build something like a Wimshurst machine or a Van De Graff generator) that you can't do much useful with it, other than wreck delicate semiconductors and spark off gas explosions (I suppose you could make a fart igniter out of this, but I wouldn't wear one).
-- 8th of 7, Jul 17 2002

Great concept...I would add self-powered pacemakers, mini stun guns, and hot rollers (for on-the-go touchups). An added benefit would be that once the static is drained your hair and clothing will look sleek and neat. It will be helpful to be able to reverse the flow, so that when you shake hands with an attractive stranger you'll be able to count on "sparks flying" - real ones!
-- Ms Trashington, Jul 17 2002

blissmiss, as far as I'm aware, the burnt holes thing isn't good. It doesn't feel good, anyway.
-- timo, Jul 17 2002

Idea might not be baked, but your computer most certainly will be if you ever came near it wearing one of those suits.. (along with the GPS, Walkman, Walkie-Talkie, pacemaker...)
-- Mr Burns, Jul 17 2002

Happy birthday, timo.
-- beauxeault, Jul 17 2002

I don't want to hear problems, people, I want SOLUTIONS! (and any tips on doing pep talks).

And thanks beauxeault, I would excitedly tell you about my presents but I didn't get any (yet).
-- timo, Jul 18 2002

timo: "I don't want to hear problems, people, I want SOLUTIONS! " - that sounds a lot like a former manager I knew .... emphasis on the former (he didn't last).

OK, Ok, it htink there might be a circuit called an Electrometer Charge Pump (?) which would allow you to convert your very high DC voltage to a lower votage and a more useful current .... no, maybe it's called an electron cascade multiplier .... er. I forget. But whatever, the derived power is very small, otherwise we'd all be living in houses heated and lit by huge windmills with cats nailed to the tips of the blades rubbing on glass rods, rather than induction-coil alternators. (The cats on my house windmill are more of a statement of my personal policy towards cats than anything else, and the glass rods are just for show - all that mahongany and polished brass makes it look so retro and H G Wells-y).

If nothing else, you'd be in constant danger around petrol stations and gas tanks, and you wouldn't be allowed anywhere near a civil airliner. Better off to put piezo-electric crystals in the heels of your shoes and make power that way.
-- 8th of 7, Jul 18 2002

great device, imagine someone trying to "mug" you and when you reach out, you could zap them !!!

barking dogs beware !!!
-- troynall, May 19 2004

Static electricity would probably be a bit tough to capture, but it could be possible.. have layers of cloth with materials that get electrically charged when the rub agaisnt each other, along with thin conductive grids printed on them, to take the voltage away and put it into a circuit which could accumulate it. You'd have to figure out how to get the layers to rub against themselves reliably, and you'd have to make sure they'd never get wet. I dunno how feasible that is.

And alternative might be to use some sort of fiber which is strtechy and makes a current when stretched, like some kinda peizoelectric rubber. Better yet, what about piezoelectric insterts in your shoes? I think that might be the best of all, since the forces involved are greater when you walk on your shoes than where my pants bulge from my massive penis.
-- shtoned, Jul 02 2004

Looks like a penis, only smaller.....
-- normzone, Jul 03 2004

Didn't this idea make an appearance in an episode of Family Guy?
-- Dub, Feb 14 2010

random, halfbakery