The same vehicles that today take could very soon be giving: responsible for causing pollution, they have the potential to be reliable sources of energy.
When cars or trains move on the surface of the earth, they produce vibrations. These vibrations can be captured and directed through underground piezoelectric materials to a smart grid or roadside batteries.
The energy stored in the latter could be used to power traffic signs and signals, while the electric utility grid would use the energy for domestic purposes. To get the picture, a 6-mile road, meaning 44 MW of electricity per year, would assure the necessary for 30,800 households.
Also, maybe as a divine sign that this project is worth it, the generated energy would be used during peak hours – so more cars on the road means more energy.
Officials in California are currently trying to make the bill go through, after previous attempts in Israel have proved a success and Italy is already projecting its introduction on the Venice-to-Trieste Autostrada. Other details, such as infrastructure costs or road maintenance are yet unknown, but just think of the possibilities if it proves viable!
Mike is a master student of graphic design and is particularly interested in green designs and green technologies that affect people directly. Besides publishing, he supervises any changes in the site's aesthetics. The current logo is his concept.