Brake energy regeneration is all the rage these days on everything from full out electric vehicles to hybrids and even straight up gasoline engines on new BMWs. On all of those vehicles, the kinetic energy that would normally be transformed into heat energy through friction brakes is used to turn an electrical generator that charges a battery, harnessing that energy for later use. Of course in many respects the greenest mode of transportation is your feet. Going out and walking using the energy from the food you eat may be the most efficient way of harnessing solar energy.

But who wants to go walking when your iPod and cell phone batteries are dead? A group of researchers from the University of Michigan, Simon Fraser University in Canada and the University of Pittsburgh have developed a knee brace with a built in generator that produces enough electricity to charge small devices. In their tests they found the brace generated 1W of electricity from less than 1W of energy expended by the people wearing the brace. Of course they will have to make the device less bulky than it's current 3.5lbs before any regular people would consider wearing one.

[Source: PhysOrg]


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