Willa Li (Harvard), Janaina Lucero (Sciences Po), Daniel Loeb (CRI), Duncan Stothers (Harvard)
A truly smart city is both environmentally friendly and accessible to all. (M)Power addresses both these goals by recycling energy, making use of otherwise wasted heat from the Métro to produce cheaper, sustainable energy.
Our project draws inspiration from how cells have perfected energy recycling in the electron transport chain, a process where "free" energy releases are harnessed to create more useful energy-producing molecules. Since each Métro line produces enough waste heat energy from braking and body heat to power over 10,000 typical Parisian apartments, we propose a system of Peltier tiles (thermoelectric generators) to capture part of this energy and turn it into affordable electricity.
This power can then be directed to social housing developments, providing residents with a cheaper alternative to solar panels. To paint a fuller picture of social inclusion, we will make transparent what is normally black-boxed data and technology. Using simple language and graphics, a website and kiosk system in each social housing development will inform residents of their energy consumption and of the new technological innovations. This data can also be used as teaching material to inspire the next generation of innovators. In this way, (M)Power not only powers buildings. It also empowers people.