Ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor to share with you the first whacked-out muddled invention of 2007.
My little apartment is heated with radiators; there is a unit hanging on the wall in the bathroom that heats water using natural gas, which it then circulates using an electric pump. The pump is starting to make a lot of noise; it’s only a matter of time before it gives out. While pondering the pump it occurred to me that it was too bad there was no way to use the pressure in the water main to circulate the hot water through the radiators.
In fact, it would be easy to do that, but you would wind up pouring a lot of water down the drain. I had just reinvented the water wheel.
But wait a minute, I thought as I stood in the shower, I already send a lot of water down the drain. Why can’t I make it do a little work for me first?
The easiest thing would be to put a little turbine and generator in the water main, so that it would turn every time I ran water. The downside is that the water pressure for the whole place would be reduced. But we don’t always need the water to be at full pressure — that’s why faucets have variable valves. So what if your faucet had a variable-resistance generator instead of a valve? You would adjust the rate of flow from the faucet by changing the resistance of the generator. You’d get the same control over water flow you do now, but you would be getting a little bit of electrical bonus every time you use water. Woo hoo!
My electro-faucet isn’t quite ready to market yet — I’m still working on the catchy name.