Playpump channels the energy of children for fresh water

by Mark R

I’ve always told my wife that the ratio of energy between children and adults is completely disproportionate. It’s like parents need twice as much energy than they already have to deal with half the energy their children already possess. That might sound confusing to some readers, but if you have children, you probably have noticed how easily they can wear you out.

Fortunately, there are ways to channel the energy of children into something that can help their future. This is what the Playpump is designed to do. This merry-go-round is connected to pumps, and when children spin it, they are able to tap into the fresh water below.

There are approximately 1,000 of these pumps installed in Third World countries such as South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland, and Zambia. They are “capable of producing of 1,400 liters of water per hour at 16 rpm from a depth of 40 meters, and is effective up to a depth of 100 meters.” In other words, as the children play, they will tap into wells of fresh water below.

I like what Playpump is doing, and admire their goals of bringing fresh drinking water to 10 million people by 2010.

However, I believe we really need to harness the seemingly unlimited energy of our children. Why not connect all merry-go-rounds and other playground equipment to turbines, and store up all the kinetic energy to power our schools?

The possibilities are limitless here, but still, kids are kids, and play shouldn’t always have some greater purpose. Children are the most valuable resource we have, not energy.


4 reviews or comments

Feint Says: January 28, 2009 at 12:55 pm

Great product they got going here, just one question about your opinions Mark; why would you harness the energy from a merry-go-round when it has to run on electricity already?

steve Says: January 28, 2009 at 9:46 pm


What Mark is referring to is probably called a roundabout where you are from (a 8 ft to 10 ft round disk pushed by kids on a playground).


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