Home Grown Power for Earth Day 2011?

It’s Earth Day. There are no doubt tons of articles, posts, stories, etc. today about how fragile our collective spaceship really is. I believe that. But this ball of rock will last much longer than all of us. True, it’s the thin layer of water and air we need to worry about–but none of that is what I’d intended to post today.

Instead, this is about an idea I had. An idea that had me kind of excited. An idea, however, that I won’t do anything with except for this post on Earth Day simply because I’m scared of messing around on my roof, to say nothing of how I feel about electrical wiring.

Anyway, over the winter months I spent a lot of time staring up at our roof what with all the talk about ice dams. I also oggled at our neighbors’ roofs. That’s when I noticed a lot of attic ventilation fans. In particular, the ball-shaped ones that look like they could slice up a carrot or other vegetable pretty nicely for salads. Those ball-shaped ones spin around. They are, essentially, little wind turbines. Here’s the idea:

What if those ball-shaped fans were coated on the inside with copper? And what if a magnet was placed into the “hollow” area inside those fans? Didn’t Mr. [Name Withheld For Privacy] in science class teach us that magnets and copper and movement generate electricity? WHOAH! Think about all the electricity you could generate on the roof of your home simply by letting hot air rise through those fans! 

I have no idea how much copper, or magnet, is needed, to generate an amount of electricity worth the hassle. Same thing for the speed required on those little turbines.

But still, a fun thought on the right kind of day.


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