The Virtual Batteries in Our Bodies

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Batteries, or portable powerhouses as we sometimes call them, stand in the way of progress. We want to use them in wearable devices, yet their clunky, three-dimensional shapes hold us back. Sure, we publish exciting research into flexible, nano-thin batteries but are these commercially possible. Have we been looking past the obvious. What about the virtual batteries in our bodies?

The Case For the Virtual Batteries in Our Bodies

the virtual batteries in our bodies

Diego Delso, Delso.Photo, License CC-BY-SA

Our bodies run on energy driving signals between cells, and powering muscles to perform tasks.

Writing in Extreme Mech, Sebastian Anthony estimates we produce 100 watts of energy even when we are at rest in bed.

This force keeps our hearts pumping, our lungs breathing and our digestive system working even while we are fast asleep.

the virtual batteries in our bodies

Usain Bolt @ Moscow: Erik van Leeuwen: GNU 1.2

This 100 watts of power, consumed throughout the day equates to 2,000 calories of food, our recommended intake. Trained athletes can pump out up to 350 watts in short bursts of extreme effort. We are little powerhouses. But are we generators, or batteries?

Generators do not store power they only make it. Batteries do both, so there is a strong argument the virtual batteries in our bodies exist. How else could shipwrecked sailors survive for weeks with hardly any food? Now, if we could only find a way to harness that energy to charge our phones, that would be something to write about.

Future Thoughts About Tapping Into This Energy

We shed a lot of body energy when we exercise hard. Our bodies repel it as perspiration in an autonomous HVAC system. Stockholm Railway Station captures commuter body heat to warm water for an office building. There have been successful efforts to capture the kinetic energy from walking. Harnessing the virtual batteries in our bodies is coming. It is no longer a question of if, but when.


Different Types of Energy We Measure

The Difference Between Energy and Power

Preview Image: Human Biological Clock


About Author


I tripped over a shrinking bank balance and fell into the writing gig unintentionally. This was after I escaped the corporate world and searched in vain for ways to become rich on the internet by doing nothing. Despite the fact that writing is no recipe for wealth, I rather enjoy it. I will not deny I am obsessed with it when I have the time. My base is Umtentweni in South Africa on the Kwazulu-Natal South Coast (30.7167° S, 30.4667° E). I work from home where I ponder on the future of the planet, and what lies beyond in the great hereafter. Sometimes I step out of my computer into the silent riverine forests, and empty golden beaches for which the area is renowned.

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