Generate electricity with every flush on a hydro-electric toilet

toilet flushing sustainable energy source 2

Going green can be done in many ways. I could go on and on discussing how to save electricity and be more eco-friendly but I’d like to focus on how you can do so right from your bathroom. You would think it’s only possible by conserving water and switching to LED bulbs but South Korean researchers devised a way for toilet flush systems to harness energy. It’s sustainable energy that generates electricity with every flush.

My water bill went up last month so I had to be wary of the water use in our household. I had to remind everyone of the two types of flush button. But with the new toilet flushing system, I’d be okay even with the frequent flushing. Why, electricity can be generated with every level pump when needed. Electricity from the system is good enough to power an LED bulb. No, it may not be big enough to power an aircon but it would sure help. Maybe someday it would be more powerful.

The transducer that convert mechanical energy into electrical energy from from water motion was developed by Seoul National University and Korea Electronics Technology Institute (KETI) led by Youn Sang Kim .

University of Freiburg’s Andreas Menzel explained the system: ‘The researchers have taken advantage of the contact electrification between a polymer and water droplets in motion to design a simple energy harvester’.

This is just the beginning. I know more similar sustainable energy source will be developed but for now, let’s be more active and expressive in showing our concern for the environment by opting for the ‘greener’ choices always.

[via Ubergizmo]

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3 comments

  1. Naveed

    Interesting idea, but what are the numbers? How many watts does it generate? I hate to be a nay sayer, but would it generate enough to power even a cell phone? You can generate electricity from potatoes and coins, but they’re not very practical.

  2. Bub

    I’m a bit skeptical that this would be a net positive. By removing energy from the moving water, I would expect it to reduce the force of the flush, thus making it more likely that you would need to flush twice, especially on low-flow toilets. This raises the question: Which is better for the environment – water conservation or energy conservation? If using extra water to produce energy made environmental sense, then we could all set up little hydroelectric generators in our bathtubs and leave the water running 24/7.