Proposal given to recoup waste energy from cars, railways and airplanes

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Proposal given to recoup waste energy from cars, railways and airplanes

Haifa (Israel) – An Israeli company called Innowattech has developed a way to recoup energy from cars operating on public roadways. Using piezoelectric crystals installed under the asphalt, highway vibrations are converted into a staggering amount of electricity. According to the developer, up to 500 kilowatts from a busy four-lane road per kilometer:  Enough to power about 100 homes.

Vibrations and squeezing

The inventor, Haim Abramovich of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (TIIT), will begin testing the system on a 100 meter stretch of roadway in northern Israel beginning in January, 2009. There’s a video demonstration of the proposal on the Innowattech.co.il website.

Abramovich also has other plans for railways and aircraft runways. These operate by the pressure induced by the weight of the train cars or aircraft as they pass by. All of Abramovich’s demonstration videos can be viewed here.

For roadways, horizontal strips running across the road are cut out and removed every few feet with vibration gathering piezoelectric crystals being installed. The crystals generate electricity by capturing the vibrational energy as each vehicle drives by. The more vehicles, the more power generated. Each strip is then connected to an electric line running between poles which are placed every so often along the roadway. The poles contain accumulators which collect and distribute electricity onto the grid.

For runways the process is similar, except that the horizontal strips are pressure plates which allow the runway deformation caused by heavy aircraft as they go by to be converted into electrical energy. Similarly in the case of railways, individual pads beneath each wooden railroad tie connection are replaced with pressure plates which squeeze down as the train cars pass, thereby creating electricity.

Smart roads

The inventor also proposes a “Smart Road” system which conveys information about passing vehicles, such as their weight, length and the frequency as well as the space between them in real time. This information could be transmitted to local law enforcement or a central database which, while harvesting energy, reports on real-time traffic conditions wherever the devices are installed.

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