UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

February 8, 2009

SPEED BUMPS AS ENERGY SOURCES

Guardian, UK - "Green" speed bumps that will generate electricity as cars drive over them are to be introduced on Britain's roads. The hi-tech "sleeping policemen" will power street lights, traffic lights and road signs in a pilot scheme in London that could be rolled out nationwide.

Speed bumps have long been the bane of motorists' lives, but these will capture the kinetic energy of vehicles. Peter Hughes, the designer behind the idea, said: "They are speed bumps, but they are not like conventional speed bumps. They don't damage your car or waste petrol when you drive over them - and they have the added advantage that they produce energy free of charge." An engineer who formerly advised the United Nations on renewable energy sources, Hughes added: "If it [the energy] wasn't harnessed by the speed bumps, it would go to waste."

The ramps - which cost between L20,000 and L55,000, depending on size - consist of a series of panels set in a pad virtually flush to the road. As the traffic passes over it, the panels go up and down, setting a cog in motion under the road. This then turns a motor, which produces mechanical energy. A steady stream of traffic passing over the bump can generate 10-36KW of power.

The bumps can each produce between L1 and L3.60 of energy an hour for up to 16 hours a day, or between L5,840 and L21,024 a year. Energy not used immediately can be stored or fed into the national grid.

2 Comments:

Blogger BeyondGreen said...

We need to utilize everything in out power to reduce our dependence on foreign oil including using our own natural resources.OPEC will continue to cut production until they achieve their desired 80-100. per barrel. The high cost of fuel this past year seriously damaged our economy and society. Oil is finite. We are using oil globally at the rate of 2X faster than new oil is being discovered. We need to take some of these billions in bail out bucks and bail ourselves out of our dependence on foreign oil. Jeff Wilson has a really good new book out called The Manhattan Project of 2009 Energy Independence Now. He explores our uses of oil besides gasoline, our depletion, out reserves and stores as well as viable options to replace oil.Oil is finite, it will run out in the not too distant future. WE need to take some of these billions in bail out bucks and bail America out of it's dependence on foreign oil. The historic high price of gas this past year did serious damage to our economy and society. WE should never allow others to have that much power over our economy again. I wish every member of congress would read this book too.
www.themanhattanprojectof2009.com

February 8, 2009 12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need to fund alternative energy that will work. This "solution" is way too much of a maintenance nightmare for the modicum of energy it will steal from the cars.

I call bullshit! How is the energy stored? You can't pump that weak-ass and wildly varying voltage from that alternator into the national grid without converting it to AC, or store and retrieve it to battery without loss. Someone please make inventor Peter Hughes show his data.

June 16, 2009 4:22 AM  

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