Bus Shelter Powered by Plants!

Thoughts and musings

Bus Shelter Powered by Plants!

Lewis | March 6, 2015 | 0 Comments

I’m sorry the title to this blog post isn’t more snappy, or is a little less to-the-point. But after reading about this piece of ingenuity I’m about to share, you’ll understand nothing else can describe it!

An article was published online by the BBC late last night about the latest effort by two academics at Cambridge University for the Cambridge Science Festival called “Trap the Light Fantastic: Plant to Power”, which will be opened to the public next week on March 10th. The brainchild of Professor Christopher Howe and Dr Paulo Bombelli, the aforementioned bus shelter has two forms of alternative energy that helps power it. One of those is a solar panel system. The other are plant “walls”. The latter “harvest electrons naturally produced as a by-product of photosynthesis and metabolic activity and convert them into electrical current”.

With the changing landscape of the energy industry, the need to find alternative power sources are needed, and this ingenuity is what is needed from humankind when the inevitable happens! Bombelli implores that a portfolio of alternative technologies, including those what work in synergy, are needed to address the world’s energy requirements. He goes on to say that the bus shelter is only the tip of the iceberg: “The long-term aim of the solar hub research is to develop a range of self-powered sustainable buildings for multi-purpose use all over the world, from bus stops to refugee shelters”.

The structure, of course, is only a prototype. But with the “green” walls generating electricity with fitted carbon fibre and a carbon/catalyst plate,it is hoped that it could potentially produce enough electricity to light itself, with the solar panels doing so during the day, and the “green” walls doing so during the night. It may seem futuristic, but this proactive approach is what is needed to ensure the current energy crisis does not turn into a catastrophe when the unthinkable does happen!

Pure genius! You can see the original article from the BBC here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-31749026. Also, if you are in the Cambridge area on March 10th, go check it out!