July 24, 2015
Smart Roads: Generating Energy from Braking Vehicles
Every time a vehicle brakes, energy is dissipated.
A US company believes this energy can be captured and used to power nearby equipment such as stop lights.
Energy Intelligence Inc. is a clean-energy startup headquartered in Boston, MA and Buffalo, NY.
They’ve developed technology that generates electricity at high-traffic locations from the motion of vehicles.
It’s an ultra-compact system that lays flat on top of the road where vehicles are required to slow down. When vehicles drive over the unit, they compress embedded hydraulic channels, causing electricity to be generated.
There is a minimal impact on a driver’s experience, and the heavier the vehicle – the more energy that is produced.
The easy to install system costs $500, and has a 6 to 24 months payback time.
It’s designed to withstand millions of compressions, and each unit has an expected lifetime of between 7 to 10 years.
Electricity generated from the system can be stored in batteries or sent directly to local infrastructure – such as lights, payment equipment, signage and toll booths.
High-volume traffic sites that could benefit from this technology include:
- Border crossings
- Construction sites
- Distribution centers
- Parking facilities
- Port terminals
In the US alone, border crossings see an incredible 100 million vehicle passes per annum.
With these kind of numbers, it’s easy to see an exciting future for this energy-harvesting technology.
Daniel Shani, Founder and CEO of Energy Intelligence Inc. said:
“We’d love to see all forms of renewables including wind turbines and solar panels, improve and become more competitive over time.
However, in the meantime, we’re focused on leveraging energy wasted by vehicles as a predictable, consistent, and powerful source of clean energy.
Our patented technology offers competitive economics and is easy to deploy.”
For more information, please visit energyintel.us
Craig J Todd – Freelance writer with a passion for tech, trends and simplicity.
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