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mobilerik 01-17-2009 04:49 PM

Piezoelectric Road Being Prototyped in Israel
 
I haven't seen this fascinating news posted here yet...

Summary: A road is being built in Israel that is filled with piezoelectric crystals that they hope will generate 400 kilowatts per km of road, enough to power 8 small cars.

Link: Autoblog Green article

LUVMY02CREW 01-18-2009 12:44 PM

Looked like a pretty interesting concept....except the word smoosh.

I don't know a whole lot bout this kind of stuff, but it sounds like if vehicles have to smoosh to get where they are going, then they will probably waste more energy than what is created.?.?.?

I do like the turbine idea linked in the article. And the solar panel road seems interesting also.

markweatherill 01-22-2009 02:32 AM

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.

mobilerik 01-22-2009 12:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by markweatherill (Post 84440)
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? :thumbup:


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