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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Banned? Or not?

WEARABLE ambient air energy collectors...
Legal or not legal?

I saw an intriguing news release from Science Daily today about a new form of "energy-scavenging" device that you can wear in or on your clothing to collect ambient electro-magnetic energy from the air moving around you.

This cutting edge technology has a variety of uses including powering personal electronics, biomonitoring devices and even surgical implants.

An aside: I saw another article that discussed experimentation with electricity-generating turbines that could be implanted in your blood stream, using the natural flow of blood through your body to power such things as heart pace-makers.

But as for the wearable ambient energy scavengers, here's the question: are they legal in Charlestown?

The likely answer is Probably Not. Under Charlestown's anti-wind energy ordinance, we are currently under a blanket moratorium banning the introduction of any wind energy device.

Heart power: LEGAL in Charlestown
It's a hydroelectric turbine implanted in veins
Still a few bugs to work out
Under the ordinance, this includes any and all equipment, machinery and structures utilized in connection with the conversion of wind into electricity. [emphasis added – Article VI. D.(4)]

The ordinance doesn't define "wind" which is why I say "probably not" instead of "definitely no." Electomagnetic energy riding in the air isn't the classic definition of wind. However you have to figure that if the electromagnetic energy is being carried to within range of your wearable energy collectors, that means the air is moving and that IS wind.

Once the blanket moratorium expires, then the question is whether these new devices would fall under the permitting requirements for a 15KW or less wind generator. Again, I think the legal answer is "probably." So if you plan to bring such devices into Charlestown, please refer to my article on what is required of Charlestown residents who wish are interested in wind power for home use.

Author: Will Collette