Using The Energy From a Soccer Ball to Light Up Learning
Author: Alicia Jooste
Kicking a soccer ball for 20 minutes generates enough energy to power an LED light for 3 hours, and allow kids to learn and after dark.
The Uncharted Play social enterprise is experimenting with kinetic energy to transform everyday actions into power. Through a combination of science and technology, walking across a room, sitting in a chair or playing outdoors are all activities which will eventually be able to power things, like mobile phones, or house lights.
The group began with the development of the Soccket in 2008 - a soccer ball that can generate three hours of LED light after 20 minutes of play.
CEO Jessica O. Mathews says, “the concept wasn’t to try to solve the world’s energy problems, but to empower people to see the role they can play in getting the power they need.”
The company’s core technology system MORE - motion-based off-grid renewable energy - uses a micro-generator system. These custom micro-generator systems can be fully integrated into almost anything that moves, allowing Uncharted Play to transform soccer balls and skipping ropes into a source of off-grid power.
Like many startups, the company previously ran into manufacturing issues that affected the quality of earlier versions of the products, leaving many Socckets broken after only three days of use.
Learning from these mistakes, the company have bounced back to continue the journey of democratising energy access worldwide.
“It’s exciting because everyone moves. It’s one of the most underutilised forms of renewable energy. Imagine a world where everything around you is a source of power. And imagine a world where we can harness that power and use it to power lights, charge mobile phones.”
Companies such as Uncharted Play continue to play an important role in revolutionising the ways in which energy can be consumed and generated. During a time of heated political debate over the future of energy, these companies are essential to transform how communities and nations are responding to climate change.
- If you are a budding entrepreneur visit ‘EnergyLab’, Australia’s first startup accelerator program focused on developing the state’s renewable and advanced energy sector.
- Look at how your life is powered and make the switch to low emissions like residential solar or the new Planet Ark Power program for large-scale organisational installations.
Alicia worked at Planet Ark in 2016.
- Everyday Enviro with Elise - Time for winter warmers »
- Austria closes its last coal power plant »
- Renewables take record share of new energy capacity added in 2019 »
- A turning point in carbon dioxide emissions? »
- The solar-powered plant bringing drinking water to those in need »
- Bringing back the beauty of darkness »
- South Korea’s capital leading the way on solar »
- Australian university saving big with innovative renewable energy project »
- After over a century as Australia’s coal capital, Newcastle is going renewable »
- Scottish council harnessing energy from wastewater for heating »
- Climate activism empowering youth worldwide »
- Kenya powers forward with Africa’s largest wind farm »
- Canberra to become first Australian jurisdiction powered by 100% renewable energy »
- Britain's coal-free week the first since 1882 »
- The Icelandic project turning dangerous emissions to stone »
- Former prison providing site of community-led energy revolution »
- The remote community that saved its water and its future »
- California reaches 2020 renewable energy goal ahead of schedule »
- Australia's biggest coal mining company to freeze production »
- Global energy giant to produce household battery systems in Australia »
- Aussie posties to go green with electric trikes »
- First power to flow from world's biggest offshore wind farm »
- The man proving electric vehicles are more than ready for Australia »
- Positive steps in climate change action in 2018 »
- The tiny archipelago blazing a trail towards sustainability »
- New renewable energy now as cheap as existing coal stations »
- World's largest shipping company commits to phasing out fossil fuels »
- Spain bids farewell to coal »
- The new zero-emissions fuel made from mankind's most common byproduct »
- California commits to 100% clean energy by 2045 »
- 1 terawatt global solar and wind target reached early »
- Ireland divests from fossil fuels in world first »
- The light at the end of the tunnel is made with LEDs »
- Mexico City is bartering its recyclable waste for food »
- Monash's 100% renewable electricity plan »
- African women joining the microgrid revolution »
- Renewables produced more than twice as much new energy as fossil fuels in 2017 »
- RMIT develops new proton battery prototype »
- South Australia declared a world leader in variable solar/wind energy »
- UK renewables created three times the power of coal in 2017 »
- Byron Bay celebrates the arrival of the world's first fully solar-powered train »
- Liddell's renewable replacement will flick the switch and come in cheaper than coal »
- Planet Ark Power and Llewellyn Motors launch one of Australia's largest privately owned solar and smart battery rooftop power stations »
- Supercharging South Australia with Tesla Powerpacks »
- Flying Dutch claim victory for the 7th time in the World Solar Challenge »
- Aussie innovators compete for the climate on the world stage »
- In the wake of the quake: Japanese towns choose energy self-sufficiency »
- Better demand management essential as electric cars hit the road »
- HIH GreenSmart Awards celebrate Australia's most sustainable homes »
- An electric future for driving »
- Aurora, the world's largest solar thermal plant coming to Port Augusta »
- India's renewable energy target to create 300,000 jobs »
- AECOM and Canadian energy storage start-up will cut costs by putting power under the pump »
- Aiming for a zero-carbon future within 10 years »
- World's largest crop of tequila plant set to fuel green energy in far north Queensland »
- Capturing Carbon to Tackle Climate Change »
- Printable Solar Panels a Game Changer »
- LEGO - Building Environmental Milestones One Block at a Time »
- Video: Tesla's Elon Musk Talks Solar Homes, Boring Company and Electric Trucks »
- South Australia Leading the Way on Renewable Energy Target »
- Indigenous Communities Embrace Renewable Energy »
- A New Wave of Energy for Western Australia »
- Increased Battery Use Proves Reliability and Accessibility of Solar Power »
- Solar and Wind Energy Now Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels in More Than 30 Countries »
- Winds of Change For Dutch Trains »
- Launch of Positive Environment News »