Soundscraper Harvests Acoustic Energy


Soundscraper Harvesting Acoustics for energyWhoever said the field of acoustics isn't cool?

Each year the architectural publication eVolo – which focuses on innovations and sustainable technologies related to high rise buildings – organizes a Skyscraper Competition to recognize outstanding examples of tower design.

This year, one of the projects selected for an honorable mention caught my attention. It sounds like science fiction, but the designers of this building concept have incorporated a technology that allows them to harvest electrical energy from noise produced around the building.

Now, before you start thinking that you can power the lights in your house with the noise your kids or pets (or maybe neighbors) make, I should add that you need very high volume, very low-frequency (and, therefore, very high energy) noise. In this case, the noise of traffic on roadways surrounding the building is being contemplated.

The Soundscraper’s skin is covered with large hair-like ‘lashes’ that are, in turn, covered with Parametric Frequency Increased Generators. These generators turn the sound vibrations into electrical energy. Estimates of the project’s output suggest that the building could produce 150 MW/h of power, which the designers say would provide 10% of the urban lighting power for the city of Los Angeles.

Cost isn’t mentioned, but this is one project I’d be very interested in seeing built!



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