Friday, 29 June 2012

We love the Olympics, but we don’t like being told half the truth…

"Crowd Farm" theoretical possabilities and reality are sometimes poles apart…

Olympic shopping – just what is a watt????

We understand mosy ppl have no idea of the most basic facts regarding energy use. Most people don't even know that the words "energy" and "power" have different meanings

So how about special floor tiles to generate electricity from human footfalls,,, worth doing?

Twenty bright green rubber tiles will adorn one of the outdoor walkways at the Westfield Stratford City shopping centre, which is next to the new Olympic stadium in east London.

The squares aren't just ornamental. They are designed to collect the kinetic energy created by the estimated 40 million pedestrians who will use that walkway in a year, generating several hundred kilowatt-hours of electricity from their footsteps. That's enough to power half the mall's outdoor lighting.

For reference, then: even if the vast Stratford City mall uses LED exterior lighting, just a single light can be expected to require energy supplies of more than 900 kilowatt-hours in a year. There's no prospect whatsoever that "several hundred kilowatt-hours" could provide half the massive facility's outdoor lighting - this much is obvious straight off the bat.

But it gets worse:

On average, one footstep generates 7 watts of electricity, though the amount varies depending on a person's weight.

Seven watts for how long? This is meaningless.

And even worse, the headline says:

46.2 Megawatts of heating, 39 Megawatts of cooling and up to 3.34 Megawatts of electrical power. so we can see that the Stratford City mall's power consumption over time will run in the several tens of megawatts - for annual energy consumption of a few hundred thousand megawatt-hours over just two weeks… "a few hundred kilowatt-hours" is nothing…

footfall generators will provide roughly one millionth of the energy the centre requires.

they will
 "reduce its carbon footprint", but not significantly. Even if the whole place was tiled and they runs the olympics for 52 weeks with footfall generators and every person on them generated 7 Watts constantly ... you would have to pack more than half the population of London in there, five million people all walking around without pause, just to keep it powered up. On a really cold or hot day you might need millions more.

The business model has little to do with actually generating power. It's about marketing and green imagery:

We like Green, but please can we have ‘real’ green???

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