The electric grid is based on the concept of centralizing the supply of electricity while bose tv is moving towards decentralization.
Today, more than 40,000 people are without electricity in the San Francisco Bay Area following the 6.0 quake.
If the supply of electricity were to be decentralized these people would not be without electricity.
Electric grids are centralized systems. They generate electricity from power plants (fossil, hydro, nuclear and wind) which is then transmitted to consumers over long distances through high voltage cables.
In the early 19th century, electricity was a novel invention that competed with steam, hydraulics, direct heating and cooling,light, and most notably gas.
But since its inception the electric grid has evolved from a local system serving a particular geographic area to a wider network of multiple areas. Which explains why the grid fails in extreme weather conditions.
Yet the concept of centralizing our power source appears to have monopolized our thinking.
The same is true when electricity is supplied from the grid to residential, commercial and industrial buildings that then become the centralized sources for electricity.
However,new technologies now enable electricity to be decentralized by powering individual appliances.
Here are some examples of these new technologies.
Certain materials are able to generate an electric charge when pressured. This pioneering technology has many applications ranging from making airbags deploy to making flame-producing lighters and lighter wands. Other common devices using this technology include quartz watches, motion detectors, microscopes and printers.
This technology has also been used to generate electricity from dance floors which can then power lighting. The same technology could be used in the flooring of shopping malls. It is also being used by scientists in Israel to generate electricity from road traffic and may soon be used under airport runways to power lighting for airports.
Cell phones that feature plastic buttons sitting atop a layer of hard metal with crystals underneath also employ this technology. Each time a button is pressed, the hard metal hits the underlying crystals like a hammer, thereby creating a small electric charge. Very small wires located between the layers convey the charge to a battery for storage. It isn't too far-fetched to imagine this technology being used in other products including computer keyboards and video games.
Thermoelectric materials are also being used to convert body heat into electrical energy. Wristwatches, winter jackets and smart phones may soon be powered by the temperature difference between the human body and the surrounding environment.
Micro 'nano' generators are also being used inside shoes so that when heat is generated by the motion of feet it is then converted into electrical energy. German scientists have identified a mechanism for converting body heat into electricity,which could mean that we may soon be able to operate our televisions and cellphones from the heat of our body! Another example using body heat to generate electricity is a flashlight that runs solely from the heat of the human hand.