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Old 01-22-2009, 12:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
mobilerik's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: San Diego, CA
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rik's prerunner - '03 Toyota Tacoma Prerunner Double Cab TRD 4A
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Originally Posted by markweatherill View Post
At first I thought, I want some piezoelectric tyres. Then I thought, why not piezo in the suspension dampers? Or little Faraday generators? One could power a set of sidelights using four dismantled shake-light torches, perhaps.
Yeah, I was thinking that stuff, too. Piezos in the tires and every joint that vibrates. Though I haven't experimented with piezos much, they're right up my alley as an audio recording engineer.

LUVMY02CREW, and anyone else who is confused, piezoelectrics are crystalline materials that will produce a voltage when stretched or squeezed. They are commonly used as pickup devices in acoustic guitars by placing them under the strings. They're also used in reverse, most commonly in electric buzzers -- when a small voltage is applied, they vibrate very loudly. For DIYers, piezoelectric polymers are available from electronics suppliers in sheets.

So the idea of putting piezos in the road is very clever. The car just rides over the road normally, and the weight of the car deforms the piezos. Since cars are so heavy and fast, there's a lot of potential for... electric potential, ie. high voltages. I have no idea what the cost would be, but putting them in the road instead of the tires avoids a lot of extra quality control issues and regulation that would otherwise be introduced into tire manufacturing -- you just dump the piezos into the road material, and whatever voltages you can get, that's what you get!

I don't know how they want to collect the electricity from the road -- maybe brushes? It would be like electric trolley lines without the unsightliness. And to whatever extent the piezo road is successful, it's bound to inspire other ideas.

hmm... I wonder if I can get piezos to help out my electric bike?

Last edited by mobilerik; 01-22-2009 at 01:35 PM..
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