Students invent ingenious new energy systems in San Carlos, Chile

What does a renewable energy system look like to a high school student?

Today we welcome you to San Carlos, a small town in the Bío Bío region of Chile, to catch a glimpse of the innovative solutions created at our workshops, It was here, at the Poly-technical High School, where we sat down with students of all disciplines and age levels to invent new energy systems for their city and beyond.

Joining the students at their desks, we challenged one another to focus on transforming the earth's abundant elements...

– EARTH, FIRE, AIR, WATER –

...into a clean, renewable energy source that could be distributed efficiently across the community. Students invented distribution systems for biogas from landfills, gymnasiums that capture kinetic energy from people exercising, and machines that convert seismic activity to electricity–to name a few. 

 
 
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–We’re using seismic energy. The volatile electricity goes to that part [in the system] where the energy is established, and then it is distributed.
–What happens if there is a real earthquake? For instance, suddenly, from the outside, there could be an earthquake. Because remember that Chile is extremely seismic. So this will accumulate all of the energy.
–The system could be adapted to receive seismic waves from external sources!
 
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The rocks are falling here and here, and they are dispersing and mixing, which generates movement and vibrations. Then this passes through the cables to the alternator, and the alternator generations an electric current which reaches the houses.

This workshop was conducted as part of a series of radical education initiatives during an interdisciplinary mapping and documentation project in Chile, funded by the Fulbright Commission. For more information on the project, please see our Fueling Cooperation page.

Photos and media by AJA.