Saturday, December 13, 2008

Harvesting Electricity From Moving Vehicles - HotHardware

'Parasitic energy harvesting' might sound like it is part of a Sci-Fi plot where alien beings feed off of the energy emanating from human bodies, but it is actually a means of reclaiming wasted energy. An Israeli company, Innowattech, says that it holds the patents to technologies that can harvest the mechanical energy from vehicles traveling on surfaces such as roadways, railways, and airport runways, and convert that energy to electricity. Not only does Innowattech have the technology, but it wants to implement it into our highway, rail, and airport infrastructures.

The technology 'is based on piezoelectric generators; the piezoelectric effect converts mechanical strain into electrical current or voltage.' In other words, when a piezoelectric material is deformed, the energy from the deformation of the material gets converted into electricity. Innowattech has created three different versions of what it calls the Innowattech Piezo Electric Generator (IPEG): a Roadway Generator, a Railroad Generator, and a Runway Generator. Innowattech claims that its IPEGs can 'harvest energy from weight, motion, vibration and temperature changes.

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