Think about all those noisy places: dance halls, construction zones, train stations, and airport runways. Noise is nothing more than a compression of air into short bursts, which, even if minute, still contain energy. And loudspeakers create music much along the same lines, by vibrating a surface in order to cause the air to vibrate.
So how about collecting noise and turning it into energy? Well, until now, this has not been very efficient – the output energy has not exceeded input energy. It looks like this invention has changed that, and is able to generate electricity by collecting the airport noise and wind from planes leaving the runway.
While this system certainly can't power an airport, it does go some way to reducing energy bills, and perhaps can also trigger some ideas on how to generate electricity from other noisy environments as well.
Boeing Files Patent to Generate Electricity from Airport Noise
Boeing files patent for an acoustical electricity generation system for generating electricity from the airport noise.