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Highway Energy Generation

Use the energy of cars on the highway to generate electricity
  (+4, -6)
(+4, -6)
  [vote for,

Many highways have a steady stream of cars pass over them. As the wheels of the cars push back on the road, the road pushes forward and the wheel rolls on. My idea is placing rolling tubes into the asphalt such that only a small portion extends over the road. These tubes are placed low in the ground and at intervals: enough so as to not compromise the smooth ride. Each tube is connected to a small generator that converts the spinning of the tube to electric energy.

Although I realize that this energy will originate in the car's gasoline, the advantage of this halfbaktion (is that how you say halfbakery invention?) is that the road usually wastes a lot of energy on heat and friction. That energy can instead contribute to the power grid.

thebigo195, Nov 18 2005

Similar Idea Electricity_20Generating_20Speed_20Bump
[senatorjam, Nov 19 2005]

Electro-Kinetic Road Ramp http://www.hughesresearch.co.uk/
Generates electricity from wheel rotation pretty much as described here, if I understand this correctly. [jutta, Dec 18 2005]

Generating electricity whilst policemen sleep http://news.bbc.co....omerset/4535408.stm
[coprocephalous, Dec 19 2005]

New Jersey highways to be used as a power source http://www.uberrevi...couldnt-refuse.htm/
[xaviergisz, May 02 2007]


       Stealing energy from passing cars? I like it!
jellydoughnut, Nov 19 2005

       Interesting theory, but the car will slow down as the wheel turns the rollers, like running on a treadmill, and people will probably complain. But nevertheless a cool idea, so you have my vote.
MikeOxbig, Nov 19 2005

       Daft idea. I preferred the one about capturing some of the wind created by the cars' passage.
DrCurry, Nov 19 2005

       Wind is good, but what about sound? Speakers produce voltage when sound goes in, so why not line the highway with speakers and turn all the sound from noisy cars into electricity.
MikeOxbig, Nov 19 2005

       Yeah, or better yet, we could harness the power of the gravitational radiation emitted by the cars as they accelerate past a piezoelectric transducer...
Detly, Nov 19 2005

       I hate that weird paranoid feeling you get when you drive by a piezoelectric transducer. Makes me hit the gas!
bungston, Nov 20 2005

       /the road usually wastes a lot of energy on heat and friction/   

       That would be grip and traction.   

       What the good [DrCurry] said.
Texticle, Nov 20 2005

       Hey why not just ask drivers to give you a gallon of gas?
Antegrity, Nov 21 2005

       This is so...static. Why not shoot an electromagnetic grappler at passing trucks--whack! It yanks a cord from a reel--zeeeeeeel! Get to the end of the cord, turn off the power, rewind, wait for another truck.
ldischler, Nov 21 2005

       Trying to capture these miniscule amounts of energy from traffic is pointless, and will cost so much that the price of energy captured this way would be enormous. The amount of energy in the sound generated by cars and trucks, or even the power generated by the engines is tiny compared to the power in the wind or waves, neither of which we have the technology yet to efficiently capture.   

       It would be better to put the effort into making sure cars and trucks WASTE less energy in the 1st place...
Minimal, Nov 21 2005

       This is energy theft, not generation.   

       But, I give it a [+] because I can see it applicable in some situations, some a bit evil... but others legit.   

       For example, remote equipment that is off-the-grid, and which can't rely on solar/wind, could just get a trickle of power from passing cars. It's a road-tax.   

       Or, in parking lots, the "severe tire damage" thing can get energy from cars and power the meters or lights, etc.   

       Or, you could install this at the front of your store and rob your customers just a little bit.
sophocles, Nov 21 2005

       Suggested title: Highway Robbery
phundug, Nov 21 2005

       I'll give it a [-]:
* I'd prefer to be taxed openly and have the energy be generated more efficiently, than have it stolen from me.
* I'd like to be able to stop. Putting rollers in the road isn't going to help my breaking distance.
* I'm feeling grouchy.
st3f, Nov 21 2005

       Now, if it were only triggered by cars that are tailgating, then it would have promise!
phundug, Nov 21 2005

       I'd feel grouchy too if I was braking and discovered I was breaking. Horrors.
bristolz, Nov 21 2005

       "I'd like to be able to stop" Why, that gives me a wonderfull idea! Why not put racheted rollers like this at intersections... racheted so that the car can accelerate normaly, but when it stops, it spins the spindles. (this would be aranged so that it would provide a reasonable amount of stoping force.
Kindof like a form of centralized regenerative braking.
my-nep, Nov 21 2005

       Really, you should have no problem stopping. The rollers will be clogged & locked up in a few weeks anyway.
sophocles, Nov 21 2005

       Yeah, but have you ever been on a treadmill with more than one person. Someone always decides eventually that they want a free ride, and all the others end up suffering for it.   

       Still, it's a nifty invention. It gets a (+)
Honduras, Dec 18 2005

       Good idea, but doesn't go FAR ENOUGH. A camera scans the oncoming traffic to determine exact make and model of car. It then fires a sharpened tungsten penetrator into the gas tank, puncturing it. The gasoline drains into a receptacle to run a generator.   

       The stalled cars are then bulldozed into a large furnace. The energy generated can then be used to run a car factory. FREE CARS AND FREE ENERGY!   

       Hey, why was this under 'recent'?
GutPunchLullabies, May 02 2007


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