Israeli scientists turn rush-hour traffic into electricity
Breakthrough uses generators placed under asphalt to make energy from pressure of cars driving on them.
An Israeli company has developed a method of generating electricity from road traffic, and Israeli may look to implement the system on the nation's highways.
The system works by using generators implanted in the asphalt that create energy when cars drive over them. Each generator produces 2,000 watts per hour, which is stored in batteries along the side of the road.
The technology was developed by the Israeli firm Innowattech, with the cooperation of the Technion University.
A trial of the system was performed on Tuesday morning, along a 10 meter stretch of asphalt on Highway 4. The experiment was viewed as a success, with passing cars providing the power for street lights set up next to the 10 meter strip.
The manager of the project, Dr. Lucy Edri-Azoulay, said that the generators on Highway 4 were planted 2 inches below the top level of asphalt, and use the weight of cars driving on top of them to generate electricity.
Edri-Azoulay explained that the technology driving the system is based on Piezoelectric materials, which generate electricity in response to applied mechanical stress.
Edri-Azoulay stated that installing the program on a single traffic lane stretching one kilometer would produce 200 kilowatts of electricity hour and a four lane highway with the system implemented would produce a megowatt of electricity, enough to power 2,500 households.
Edri-Azoulay also stated that the system could be used to power electrical installations along the road, providing power for traffic lights, cameras, and streetlights to name a few.
The system would not be dependant on weather and does not require the construction of large-scale infrastructure.
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