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back to article Dancing to power London nightclub

People have done all sorts of things to promote eco-friendliness in the past. But how about boogie-ing your way to a cleaner climate? Now you can, thanks to Dancefloor Power. The concept is pretty simple: a special dancefloor is used that’s capable of transforming your dancing – however bad it is – into power that can be used to …

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Happy

Alternatively, just do nothing ...

If “loads of clubbers dancing vigorously” have the potential to “provide 60 per cent of the club's energy needs”, then it seems they could get ANOTHER 40% by simply staying closed for the evening.

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Stop

Do these idiots not dance?

Usually the idea with dancefloor design is to add a degree of elasticity, so as to return energy to the dancer (i.e. as in a sprung dance floor).

So what kind of stupidity is it to make a dancefloor that actively tries to suck energy out of you?

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Alert

Do these idiots not read?

@Paul - Did you not read the article? It's built on springs - it's sprung!! Just trying to utilise some the energy from the springing action...

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Paris Hilton

At least

when the DJ plays a terrbile song he'll *HAVE* to do something about it as people desert the dancefloor - otherwise they place will just go pitch black!

What will they do at the start of the night, when noone wants to be 1st on the dancefloor?

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Go

Brilliant idea

To the one saying they are idiots - the idea of a sprung floor is to absorb the energy of impact safely so people aren't injured. Some should be returned to give lift to the dancer but 100% rebound is for bouncy castles. Great idea, hope the feel is good, it might encourage proper dancing. Most illuminated dance floors are rock hard to protect the lights and people shuffle around barely lifting their feet.

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Coat

Dance ...

... While the record-spins.

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Alien

@Martin

You don't get summat for nowt, so the dance floor *is* sucking the energy out of you - removing energy from the springs reduces the springiness of the dancefloor itself, making dancing feel even more awkward even the floor won't dance with you!

Though that's probably the least of your worries.

Mines the UV-glo alien!

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Excellent

Why not make the population buy these floors and install them in their homes & they can jump up and down to generate power to run their fridges & tv's etc. Generate 'green' power and tackle obesity at the same time. Could even install them under peoples mattreses and generate power that way.......

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Sprung club

I've been to a couple of venues in Holland where the entire building is sprung. It really is quite something to feel when the entire crowd is jumping. I mean if they can get several hundred tons of concrete building bouncing then I'm sure the energy must be substantial.

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Anonymous Coward

I like these type of ideas

They could also measure the current, which could decide on the next track, or influence some tripatron style graphic wall.

Or have power dance offs, the winner decided by who can generate the most leccy.

Dual using power saving or creating devices is the way to do it, make it more fun and make it more meaningful. Overtime it increases innovation, understanding of these devices, and reduces production costs.

Oh, they will be supplying to or taking from the grid, that is how these things work, so the entire club is not dependent on people dancing for its power.

Gyms are an obvious one, and really most workout equipment should be setup to supply back.

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@Martin Eriksson

Ok, good point. But "sprung to optimize piezoelectric efficiency" and "sprung to help dancers" are not necessarily the same thing -- floors are sprung differently for different activities.

Unfortunately, after a brief look on the web I can't seem to find what it is they (the floor manufacturers) do claim; or what the power extracted per dancer is. I might not notice a 1W loss from the floor, but presumably something like 100W would be noticable (Any biomechanicians here to offer some real numbers?)

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@AC[1]

Lots of people would like to be environmentally responsible whilst still having a life.

If you think doing nothing is an option then feel free to die right now, but don't expect the rest of us to copy you.

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Err...

Having worked in lighting for Clubs/Gigs/etc for several years prior to getting into IT, I'd have to say that this is bollocks (I've not checked out the numbers) but there is just no way that a springy dance floor can go anywhere close to powering a half descent PA system or any (non-pony) lighting.

Having had a quick look around the 'net everything is very light on any actual details of how anything works.

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interesting

Could this kind of technology be implemented in roads? The energy could be used to light the street lamps? I don't know, could it work or would the weight be to much?

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@Martin re. Idiots

Learn about the principle of conservation of energy and try doing a simple energy flow diagram and budget; figure out where it comes from and goes to. Also consider the principle of the 'free lunch' - i.e. no such thing as.

Furthermore, piezo-electric transducers are rigid blocks of crystal that are very good at generating high voltages but not at all good at generating serious amounts of power. If they are rigid blocks of crystals, then why is the floor sprung? You try 'squashing' a crystal and see what happens.

This sounds like yet another of those crazy schemes dreamed up by an 'architect', using what little awareness of 'techie stuff' he's managed to pick up and then misapplied in order to show his green credentials. It's a bit like those drawings that school kids do showing solar powered passenger airliners, it's cute but it's not possible.

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Happy

Well, they could ....

"What will they do at the start of the night, when noone wants to be 1st on the dancefloor?"

... play Candle in the Wind ???

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Anonymous Coward

Ritz @ Manchester

I used to think if this was possible 15 years ago while as a student at Manchester. We had a nightclub called "The Ritz" which had a notoriously famous bouncy dancefloor which used to go up and down by at least a foot whenever "Jump" came on. I (standing at the side naturally as a geek does) would watch the floor and wonder if there was a way of attaching an arm to the underneath of the dancefloor, which would turn some wheels attached to dynamo's which would generate electricity to power the lights The faster the track the brighter the lights. And for the slow dance at the end of the night, the lights would dim of their own accord :)

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Boffin

Horsepower

Right, according to http://www.ent.ohiou.edu/~et181/hpv/hpv.html a 'healthy human' can sustain 0.16hp for 4 hours (say 11pm to 3am), which is about 120W. The copious press mentions a capacity of 300 people, therefore the club will generate a maximum of 36kW, assuming that dancing is as efficient as cycling.

That would suggest that the venue consumes less than 60KW(36/60%). The PA will draw maybe 8-10kW while the lighting might easily be 20kW, unless it involves an awful lot of LEDs. Then there's the bar systems, air-con, heating etc. Shame they didn't give any solid figures. I'm sure they will once the systems been road tested...

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Joke

@Neil

I thought they'd solved that years ago with the invention of Alcohol?

Seems to work 'round here...

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b

get up and boogie!

ehe!

nice1, next, gymnasiums to use resistance machines to generate power?!

all stationary excercise bikes to generate leccy?

why not, bring it on..bbbbut why does it take highy oil prices to spawn this progress?

why wasn't it seen as necessary and right, like 20 years ago???

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@Niel

"What will they do at the start of the night, when noone wants to be 1st on the dancefloor?"

Most of the time when I have been in nightclubs early, there have been a couple of fat chicks who have been drinking since midday dancing round their handbags.

I always wondered what they were doing - and now we know.

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Freebie

So essentially they want people to jump around & provide them with free leccy. I'm not dancing till I get paid.

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This is MUCH LESS GREEN than just using the mains!

Here is why; Any piezoelectric floor works by increasing the resistance to movement, much as waling on a rubber floor would do. So, it makes electricity at the expense of more energy generated by the muscles. Muscle energy comes, inefficiently from food. Food comes through a chain that includes chemical fertilizers, tractor petrol, transport fuel, processing fuel, the lights in the store, the fuel for the car you went shopping with, the gas for the stove, and the electricity for the dishwasher after.

This is much less efficient in an overall way than just switching on the mains and using some good wind or nuclear-generated current!!!

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insert title here

@Niel: Schoolhouse Rock's "Electricity", of course.

@Ben: I'm not so sure many club kids would notice that they are burning more Kcal per hour on a piezo- floor than on a standard dance floor (or on the bare concrete "dance floor" sported by so many fine establishments); after a drink or two, the odds are even slimmer. To put it another way: if the kids are gonna dance anyway, why not harvest some of that energy?

@various: (a) This setup would ensure an almost- constant stream of >= 100 bpm all evening, yes? No boring slow songs unless management determines that they are losing more in bar sales than they are "making" in saved electric costs, right? HUZZAH! (b) I'm surprised that no gyms have wired the treadmills, elliptical trainers, stationary bikes, &c to generators in order to power at least the lights and teevees.

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