On 8 Feb 2007, STForum had the Topic, 'Silly idea from Today forum contributor' concerning my letter published by Today under the heading "Electricity from thin air?" and some 38 posts poked at my idea.
After a long wait of 3 years, there is wind at the end of the tunnel, or it should be light at the end of the tunnel at last.
I wish to share and invite comments on what I wrote to the government and the media today to revive my proposal in response to the ST's article, "Winds of change in clean energy" published last Friday, 3 Sept 2010.
My letter is below.
I was delighted to read ST's "Winds of change in clean energy" on 3 Sept 2010 that JTC and the HDB are looking into the use of turbines to harvest waste air flow in lift wells to generate electricity.
I am glad CygnusPower, Singapore Polytechnic and Nanyang Polytechnic have shown interest in the engineering research to tap wind power from lift wells.
In Feb 2007, I wrote and suggested to the government the use of air in lift wells to generate electricity. The MOE confirmed that they would pass my proposal to the polytechnics for their information and research.
The use of 'magnetic levitation motors' is the answer to address the concerns of our engineers figuring out the effect on energy efficiency.
The motors can be fitted at both the above and below the lift shaft openings to generate electricity in tall office buildings and HDB blocks to light up the common areas. The openings should allow the air to flow freely out both ways to optimise the lift moving upward or downward.
I hope the researchers
will study the friction-free motors and determine whether there is any negative impact on
the operational efficiency of the lifts.
pointed out to LTA and the SMRT that such friction-free motors can be used in the MRT tunnels
If the occasional passing car in China's rural roads can have enough wind power to generate electricity, our MRT trains travelling at frequent intervals will have more than enough wind power throughout the day to generate electricity using the 'magnetic levitation motor', which will not cause much friction to affect train operational efficiency.
There is light at the end of the tunnel and in the lift wells as the use of the friction-free 'magnetic levitation motor' will make it practical and feasible to tap wind force in lift wells, MRT tunnels and even in purpose-built tunnel made of fibre-glass over elevated open train tracks.
The fibre-glass coverings over open MRT train tracks can serve two purposes: cut down noise pollution in the heartlands and help garner wind power to generate electricity. It is a win-win situation.
Singapore should explore the use of the 'magnetic levitation motor' seriously to generate electricity as it will help in a big way to achieve PM Lee's commitment in Copenhagen to reduce our carbon footprint as soon as possible.
Ultimately, I hope the method of tapping wind power cheaply from lift shafts, train tunnels and passing trains could be implemented in all countries and cities around the world to combat global overheating.
STForum had the Topic, 'Silly idea from Today forum contributor' on 8 Feb 2007. The google docs link to the 39 comments are available at:
The skeptics of my idea including the 39 posters who said it was silly in Feb 2007 should check it out with JTC and HDB including CygnusPower, Singapore Polytechnic and Nanyang Polytechnic, who have conducted research into tapping wind from lift shafts.
The idea of tapping wind in train tunnels or along side passing trains using the China-designed magnetic turbine to generate electricity will no longer be a dream or silly any more.
Humans should not self limit themselves in researching into new ways of generating electricity from clean and green renewable sources. We are far from tapping the highest source of green, clean, safe and renewable energy available to all mankind.
Posted by: Tan Kok Tim