"Eco Nightclub" to Generate Electricity From Dance Floor

| Thu Jul. 10, 2008 6:28 PM EDT

mojo-photo-electricclub.jpgHas anybody ever told you your dance moves are shocking? Wocka wocka! Ahem! A new nightclub in the UK has realized you can get tons of international press by incorporating a few token "green" tricks into your venue [Edit: as Nichole Wong already covered over here on Blue Marble, whoops]. Actually, that's mean, some of the ideas seem pretty good. The club, called Surya, will feature its own solar energy system and will offer free admission to cyclists and walkers (although how they know you didn't just get out of the cab around the corner is anybody's guess). Then there are the iffy ideas: "air flush" waterless urinals and low flush toilets might work at your home or office, but after seeing a variety of different nightclub bathrooms, let me just say I wouldn't recommend reducing flush capacity there in any way. Finally, there's the grabber: dance floor power!

The dancefloor uses the concept of piezoelectricity, where crystals and ceramics create a charge to generate electricity. "We estimate that if you had loads of clubbers dancing vigorously it would provide 60 percent of the club's energy needs," said the club's promoter.

Hey, baby, wanna join me on the floor and generate some sparks? No? Somebody used that line on you already? Like 300 times? Okay, fine, I'm heading for the air flush urinals.

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The technology apparently in use for the dance floor sounds kind of kooky--magical crystals generate electricity when you compress them--but it turns out it's technically legit. Reuters even provides a helpful diagram. However, the whole thing seems rather impractical. First of all, research into generating electricity in soldiers' boots via the same process was abandoned due to the discomfort, and those were soldiers. You're telling me that having a dance floor built like an overly springy Bouncy Castle won't be a bit disorienting? Plus, dance trends might impact the floor's generating capacity: what if "vogueing" comes back? Will the DJ be required to play House of Pain's "Jump Around" to get the juice flowing if the lights start flickering? Oh wait, I guess they've already thought of this: an internet announcement for the club's opening advertises an 8-week salsa-dancing course. Watch out, that might blow your fuses.

Anybody in the Islington area, walk on over to Surya this weekend, have a few drinks, see if you can stay upright on the springy dance floor, and give us a report.

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