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Piezo Train Tracks

Shakes my house, might as well power it.
  (+4, -2)
(+4, -2)
  [vote for,
against]

Implant Piezoelectric generators under Railroad ties to harvest the massive vibrations caused by a passing train.

edit 08/23/06 {edited 08/24/06}: seems a better idea to implant the piezo elements in a suspension system on the train itself to limit overhead (since you wouldnt have to invest in several thousand dollars {if not more} worth of piezo to run cross country. and to get a contiunal source or energy (since the train is always vibrating, while the majority of the time the tracks are quiet.) .

[marked-for-engineering]-- is there any valid reason this wont work? does anyone have the formulas for power generated by piezos?

bleh, Aug 22 2006

Ahem http://www.pinktent...-at-train-stations/
Since this is possible, I don't see why yours shouldn't be. [moomintroll, Aug 22 2006]

[link]






       side note: please be nice, i have no idea about piezo power output. also, i am aware that piezo crystals are prohibitively expensive, but after all this is the half bakery so silly monitary issues hopefully will not cloud the votes or anno's.
bleh, Aug 22 2006
  

       It's not as silly as harvesting asphalt from the roadway to use as fuel.
ldischler, Aug 22 2006
  

       hey... thats a pretty good idea...... asphalt as fuel...... <runs off to post>
bleh, Aug 22 2006
  

       piezo is the new GM (genetic modification)
phundug, Aug 22 2006
  

       nice link [moom]... maybe the system could be imbedded in the train itself so it is contiunally harvesting wasted energy. maybe incorporate it into a suspension system.
bleh, Aug 22 2006
  

       But as the link suggests, it does seem to be filtering into the real world. In principle, this sort of idea is bakeable, and might even be doable. Alright, we've been reading piezo ideas since man first clubbed a computer and dragged it back to the cave, but I think [bleh] would feel much happier about living next to the trains if he knew he was deriving some benefit from them as they rumbled past. Bun.
moomintroll, Aug 23 2006
  

       thanks again [moom] for coming to my defence. I'm wondering if I'm getting [-]'s because i used the P word, or because this is unfeasable or unrealistic. so far the ony reason given is because it says piezo. I think using them on the train itself would limit the overhead and with themassive vibrations, you would think that it would be viable.
bleh, Aug 23 2006
  

       I'm pretty sure it's because many users are sick of 'let's put power crystals under a heavy rock' kind of ideas. Since it seems piezoelectric crystals can be used in any situation in which pressure is involved (try to think of one), most applications for them come off as rather uninspired.
jellydoughnut, Aug 23 2006
  

       {Bleh} is deriving benefit from living next to railroad tracks every time he pays his rent. If he lived further away it would cost more.
Galbinus_Caeli, Aug 23 2006
  

       //Since it seems piezoelectric crystals can be used in any situation in which pressure is involved (try to think of one), most applications for them come off as rather uninspired.//   

       Yeah, I know. IF the HB had its way, every heavy thing would be covered in piezo elements, and everywhere it went would also be covered. This is true. And I'm not going to tell anyone what criteria they should fishbone stuff on. I just feel that an idea which is practical and doable, and whose time seems to have come in the real world, is deserving of a slightly more sympathetic response. It may not be funny, it may not be that entertaining, but it's not far off existing so it deserves a little respect. In my humble opinion.
moomintroll, Aug 23 2006
  

       //{Bleh} is deriving benefit from living next to railroad tracks every time he pays his rent. If he lived further away it would cost more.//   

       does my living next to the train tracks make this any more or less viable? again, this seems feasible, if not, someone please post with a scientific or logistic reason other that i said the word Piezo.
bleh, Aug 23 2006
  

       I'm kind of liking the piezos embedded in the tracks (or under them) to produce electricity. Adding them to trains would not be much help since they need change in pressure to work, putting them under a heavy rock would work once, not a continous source of free power. The tracks actually do move up and down as the train moves over them, per axel so you would get lots of change in pressure, lots of output. It would take an awful lot to produce meaningful energy, but it seems feasable to me.
cblunds, Aug 23 2006
  

       if you imbed them in a suspension system of sorts the needed compression would be present
bleh, Aug 23 2006
  

       I like your link, too, [moom]. I can't help but think, though, that if they installed old-fashioned turnstiles, and harvested the rotational energy of those being given several thousand 1/3 turns a day, that might be more efficient.
m_Al_com, Aug 24 2006
  

       //harvest the rotational motion// with what mechanism? I like the idea of harvesting power where ever possible. When i envisioned this i wasnt thinking of passenger trains, the ones by my house are freight trains carring dirt, rock, metal, and various other heavy things. i watched the tracks near my house (as i waited for the train to pass) last night, and the track itself had atleast 4 inches of travel as the cars rhythmically (sp?) scurried by. a car probablly weighing several tons traveling down 4 inches rapidly seems like a lot of energy.
bleh, Aug 24 2006
  
      
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