The Magic Carpet
Island Pacific School
Floor Location : J 154 E
Our world is faced with the alarming problem of climate change. It has caused catastrophic effects across our planet; tsunami, floods and even melting colossal glaciers. Carbon dioxide is a main contributor to climate change. The global emissions from burning fossil fuels is estimated at 38.2 billion metric tons. Throughout the last century, we have made huge leaps in the field of renewable energies, however it has not been enough. To solve our energy crisis we need to stop forcing high commitment renewable energies on large metropolitan areas which heavily rely on fossil fuels. Instead we need to develop “low commitment” renewable energies that can gradually reduce dependence on fossil fuels. It is because of this issue I wanted to create something that could solve the problem of using fossil fuels to create electricity. I developed a piezoelectric board called the ‘Magic Carpet’. It has the ability to generate electricity when any amount of force is applied to its surface. The ‘Magic Carpet' is unique in its industry as it has the ability to be applied to any surface and even rolled up as you would a carpet, making it useful and effective whether it is installed in the busy metropolitan city of Tokyo or all the way to the smallest rural village in Africa.
The ‘Magic Carpet’ was built based on a design plan made up of the following criterium: it must justify its costs and become a proven self-sustaining source of alternative energy. Its circuit must be constructed with the goal of miniaturizing it in mind. The ‘Magic Carpet’ must use materials that are readily available to allow the cost to be lowered by at least 90% through mass production or future innovation. The design must be able to incorporate a multitude of materials placed over its surface to allow it to be utilized in many different locations. It must also be able to provide consistent, accessible and affordable electricity to use reinforce the growing green energy supply.
To determine the effectiveness of the ‘Magic Carpet’ I performed three tests. Firstly, I applied mechanical force to multiple piezoelectric elements in different circuit configurations to see which generated the highest voltage. Secondly; I stepped on the piezoelectric board two hundred and fifty times switching the materials placed over its surface after every fifty steps. My third test was getting a subject step on the piezoelectric board which was covered with the flooring material that generated the highest amount of electricity with a capacitor attached to the circuit. This was done to provide the necessary data for calculations in applying the ‘Magic Carpet’ to a larger scale.
Following this, I calculated that the ‘Magic Carpet’ generates an estimated 24 000 kWh a year. The average Japanese household uses an average of 2400 kWh per year henceforth, the ‘Magic Carpet’ could power an estimated ten households throughout the year. In conclusion, I have met my design criteria of creating a sustainable, low commitment and economical renewable energy.