Why can’t we apply hybrid power tech to mobile devices?

Hybrid_screenFULL DISCLOSURE: I have no technical background in how rechargeable batteries or hybrid auto technology works. Y’all are smarter than me, so I’m hoping you can set me straight!

I had a thought about mobile tech while driving my hybrid auto. We bought a 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid last summer and we’re loving it. Having the 288V battery recharge as we coast, go downhill or brake is simply amazing; plus you can watch it all happen on the 7-inch touchscreen. My thought was: how can we apply this tech to mobile devices since one of the most limiting factors is power capacity?

The basic regeneration of power in hybrid vehicle comes from a mechanism attached to the wheels. As the wheels turn, they generate power that’s captured and returned to the second battery; my guess is that this is classified as kinetic energy. The primary battery is a standard car battery just like non-hybrids have; it’s the monster 288V battery under the back seat that gets recharged.

We’ve essentially got a "wheel" in today’s mobile devices; that hard drive spins like a banshee 95% of the time, right? Today we power the hard drive and other components with a standard battery, but what if we added a secondary battery? Could the first battery spin the hard drive so that we could recapture some of that energy to a second battery?

I’m sure there are a hundred technical reasons we can’t do this and I’m expecting those of you brighter than me to tell me what they are. I’ll consider this a learning experience, really. Still, somthing’s nagging at me here that there must be some way to apply this train of thought. I realize that the components needed for this might be larger than the space we have to work with, but it’s only a matter of time before that constraint disappears. I say: let’s make the hard drive a "power pass-through" to net another hour of so of device usage through a secondary battery…thoughts?

-kct

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