Paving the way

energy generating roads, renewable energy, sustainable design, green design, israel technion institute, clean technology, kinetic energy

Engineers at Innowattech in Israel recently created a new type of road that generates electricity as vehicles pass over it! The supercharged surface is embedded with piezoelectric crystals, which transform kinetic energy from passing vehicles into an electrical current. With widespread adoption, the technology could feed energy back into the nation’s burgeoning electric vehicle grid, transforming congested roadways into a clean green source of energy.

energy generating roads, renewable energy, sustainable design, green design, israel technion institute, clean technology, kinetic energy

In the past we’ve featured energy-generating dance floors and tourist attractions, and just last week we brought you news of one in the Tokyo subway station, but we think that this one tops them all.

The energy-generating roadway works thanks to piezoelectric crystals embeded in the asphalt. As vehicles pass over them, the vibrations generate a small amount of electricity that travels to a larger transformer which then distributes the energy. The generators can be as thin as a few centimeters or can cover large expansive surfaces, and can be easily adapted for a variety of different transit systems including roadways, railways and even airplane runways.

Even though the amount of electricity generated is not that much (around 400 kilowatts per kilometer), we’re inspired by the innovative approach and far reaching implications of the technology. The team, led by Haim Abramovich, is getting ready to test the system on a 100 meter road next month in Israel.

+ Innowattech

Via ETA and Motor Authority

energy generating roads, renewable energy, sustainable design, green design, israel technion institute, clean technology, kinetic energy

energy generating roads, renewable energy, sustainable design, green design, israel technion institute, clean technology, kinetic energy

Original text and pictures from Inhabitat.

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4 thoughts on “Paving the way”

  1. It’s not really a green technology, at least not in the way you might be thinking. It ‘steals’ the energy it produces from the cars going over it, so it’s no more efficient than a car’s engine (and allowing for waste is inevitably slightly less efficient). That doesn’t count as green.

    Where it can work very well is in the run-up to junctions, lower speed limits, and other places here you want people to slow down. The energy they steal will help the cars to slow down at the point they would be anyway, thereby using energy that would otherwise be lost to braking (assuming the car doesn’t use regenerative breaking).

    Very cool though!

  2. This can’t be free energy. Where did it come from? The moving car. This means the car lost energy to the road. Where did the car get the energy, burning fossil fuels… So this is a massively inefficient converter to electricity from fossil fuels?

    Did I miss something here?

  3. yeah, i don’t necessarily think that the technology is green, but as we can’t get rid of cars using some form of energy in the near or long-term future, i think this facilitates an excellent way of utilizing energy that’s already out there rather than using other sources.

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