It doesn’t seem straightforward having a lawn growing in your living room – but what if that lawn could generate enough power to charge a cellphone. And let’s mash that idea up into a coffee table – just so that it’s not so alarming when someone finds a lawn in your living room. As hard it is to believe that such an idea can ever be possible, the guys at Nectar Design have put together this coffee table that not only replenishes the oxygen in your room with grass, but it can also charge up your cell phone using microbial fuel cell technology. Say hello to the Voltpot.
Microbial fuel cell technology is more or less what it sounds like – power is generated with the use of microbes in the soil of the grass that is being grown. Yes, microbes, which means we feed the little microorganisms something – typically water enriched with nutrients – and we get electrical energy back. The power is somewhat small (~1 Watt per cubic centimeter), but it is a continuous stream of energy (unlike wind or solar) that may potentially be boosted up to something like ~10W – enough to power up your iPhone.
It does seem like an interesting solution for off-the-grid energy sources. I’m curious as to whether or not I can have a flower garden instead of grass.