Highway Robbery: Piezoelectric Roadways

Energy theft is in the news again, in the guise of turnstiles in Tokyo, revolving doors in the Netherlands, and now piezoelectric generators for road, rail and runway from an Israeli company, Innowattech.

Perhaps a case can be made for revolving doors and turnstiles as most people could use a little more exercise, so a little extra energy expended won't hurt the able-bodied, although the elderly and the disabled might notice the difference and have trouble with them. But roads and rails? It is literally highway robbery, and inefficient at that.

They claim that with the Innowattech Piezo Electric Generator (IPEG), "1km of roadway or runway can produce up to 0.5mW (500kW) of electricity per hour." [sic. please no comments on their energy terminology] IPEGs can "harvest energy from weight, motion, vibration and temperature changes."

But there is a certain law called conservation of energy, and what they are doing is converting the energy from gasoline, paid for by the driver and inefficiently converted into forward motion, into electricity by increasing drag. You can't make energy from nothing; better they should put their money into solar cells, where at least the source of the power is free, and is not ultimately expensive fossil fuels.

via Hot Hardware
More Highway Robbery in TreeHugger:

Revolving Door Generates Energy, Maybe.

Terry Kenney Wants to Turn Big Truck Traffic into Electricity
Further Thoughts on Turning Road Traffic into Electricity

Japan: Producing Electricity from Train Station Ticket Gates

Ramp Creates Power as Cars Pass (Or Does It?)

Tags: Alternative Energy | Electricity