Saturday, October 10, 2009

TECHWATCH: Israeli Researchers Generating Electricity from Road Traffic

Researchers at Haifa's Technion Institute of Technology in Israel have started testing a new system for generating electricity from road traffic. Based on piezo electricity, the system uses pads of metallic crystals buried over hundreds of meters of road to generate electricity when put under the pressure of quickly moving traffic. It is a novel application to a well-known concept (used for instance in loudspeakers). It is estimated that one truck can generate 2,000 volts which could already be used to power traffic lights or street lamps. A kilometer of "electric road" could generate enough power for 40 houses, and progress in the technology could generate enough electricity to feed the national power grid. It is planned to extend the technology to railways in the future. (Israeli National News - July 12, 2009)

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