Published on December 16th, 2013 | by James Ayre15
Generating Electricity From The Weight Of Cars & Pedestrians
An interesting new means of generating “sustainable” energy has recently been jumped on by researchers in Mexico — utilizing the vehicular flow of car traffic to drive bellows that then power a turbine which generates electricity.
“This is a technology that provides sustainable energy and could be implemented at low prices, since it’s a complement of already existing infrastructure: the concrete of streets and avenues,” states Héctor Ricardo Macías Hernández, the developer of the system.
“He added that at a global level there are no records of similar projects, with exception of an English patent, but with the difference that in the European country piezoelectric floors are used, which are too expensive for developing countries,” a news release about the development states.
The technology consists primarily of an integrated ramp-step (elaborated with polymeric material similar to the ones used in the manufacture of tires) that rises to about five centimeters above street-level — as the impact and weight of the vehicle crosses this ramp-step, pressure is exerted on the bellows that lie below.
Investigación y Desarrollo provides more:
The bellows contain air that is expelled at a certain pressure through a hose; later, this element travels to a tank where it is compressed and relaunched to an electricity generating turbine. Macías Hernández also said that the accumulation of electric energy is proportional to the flow of cars over a determinate spot; however, in places with low vehicular flow, several ramp-steps could be placed to multiply the impact of every individual vehicle.
The developer added that the technology could also be implemented in places with high pedestrian flow. This way, the steps of the people would generate electricity according to the laws of gravitational energy, and this principle could be implemented in places like the subway. This development is translated in a source of sustainable energy that implies a low execution cost.
Macías Hernández also noted that the support of the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) was essential to the development of the new technology.