More news from the piezoelectrics front: engineers from Innowattech are planning to test a network of Piezo Electric Generators (IPEG) on a 100 meter stretch of road. As with other piezoelectric devices, the IPEGs embedded in the road will turn mechanical strain into an electrical current or voltage. The IPEGs can generate energy from weight, motion, vibration, and temperature changes.
Energy harvested from the IPEGs can either be transferred back to the electrical grid or used for public infrastructure (i.e. lighting).
Innowattech estimates that its system will scale up to 400 kilowatts from a one kilometer stretch of dual carriageway. While the initial IPEG test will be on a roadway, the company says that its technology can also be used on airport runways and rail systems.
Best of all, IPEGs can be attached during the paving of new roads or during maintenance work. Innowattech’s system may not end up being cheap, but it’s unquestionably useful.
Photo Credit: Innowattech
Ariel Schwartz was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a contributor at Fast Company, Inhabitat, Triple Pundit, SF Weekly, and NBC Bay Area Online. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.