Electricity generated from gravity

Nov 29, 2013

Mexican entrepreneurs developed a system capable of using the vehicular flow to generate electric energy. This development has the potentiality to produce sufficient electricity to power up a household through a device that "catches" the force of the moving cars.

"This is a technology that provides sustainable and could be implemented at low prices, since it's a complement of already existing infrastructure: the concrete of streets and avenues", Héctor Ricardo Macías Hernández, developer of the system, said. He added that at a global level there are no records of similar projects, with exception of an English patent, but with the difference that in the European country piezoelectric floors are used, which are too expensive for developing countries.

The technology consists in a system that integrates a ramp-step (elaborated with similar to the ones used in the manufacture of tires) that elevates to five centimeters above the level of the street. When receiving the impact of the vehicle, this ramp exerts pressure over a bellows.

This artifact contains air that is expelled at a certain pressure through a hose; later, this element travels to a tank where it is compressed and relaunched to an electricity generating turbine. Macías Hernández also said that the accumulation of is proportional to the flow of cars over a determinate spot; however, in places with low vehicular flow, several ramp-steps could be placed to multiply the impact of every individual vehicle.

The developer added that the could also be implemented in places with high pedestrian flow. This way, the steps of the people would generate electricity according to the laws of gravitational energy, and this principle could be implemented in places like the subway.

According to Macías Hernández, this development is translated in a source of that implies a low execution cost. The entrepreneur also mentioned that the support of the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) was essential to achieve the technological development given that the institution elaborated a previous study regarding the viability of the project and gave advice to structure the necessary patents of the invention.

Explore further: NTU and Sentosa launch Singapore's first tidal turbine system at Sentosa Boardwalk

Provided by Investigación y Desarrollo

3.7 /5 (23 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Oceanlinx celebrates wave-power unit launch in Australia

Nov 04, 2013

(Phys.org) —Oceans carry enough potential energy to make a difference. The devil is in the details. Finding a way to harness all that power had prevented wave power from being seen as a practical solution ...

Recommended for you

Obama launches measures to support solar energy in US

Apr 17, 2014

The White House Thursday announced a series of measures aimed at increasing solar energy production in the United States, particularly by encouraging the installation of solar panels in public spaces.

Tailored approach key to cookstove uptake

Apr 17, 2014

Worldwide, programs aiming to give safe, efficient cooking stoves to people in developing countries haven't had complete success—and local research has looked into why.

User comments : 15

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

shagrabanda
5 / 5 (10) Nov 29, 2013
"Electricity generated from gravity" no- the Energy is generated from the fossil fuels powering the cars. The ramp will slow them down slightly & they'll have to burn more fuel to speed back up!
douglaskostyk
4.7 / 5 (7) Nov 29, 2013
Another attempt at perpetual motion - Please obey the laws of thermodynamics. This is harvesting some of the energy from the fossil fuels, and at a net loss.
Jairo
5 / 5 (3) Nov 29, 2013
Definitely a wrong title, It uses fossil fuels in the case of cars, what is more, due to the energy conversion, when confining kinetic energy into pressure and then back to kinetic, It's going to be wasting energy.
MR166
1.3 / 5 (15) Nov 29, 2013
Ah,,,,, "Green Science" at it's best.
ForFreeMinds
2.1 / 5 (19) Nov 29, 2013
Perhaps one of the previous commentators will explain how using this to slow cars going downhill (and converting some of the energy into electricity that would otherwise be used to slow the cars down via braking/friction) is not generating energy that would otherwise be wasted?

I can understand it, if the road was barely inclined such that wind resistance kept the car from going fast as desired, that this is just converting gasoline into electricity. But when motorists need to otherwise brake, it seems to me that this is a net recovery of energy that would otherwise be lost.
antialias_physorg
4 / 5 (6) Nov 29, 2013
is not generating energy that would otherwise be wasted?

Seeing how regenerative brakeing is starting to take hold...doesn't seem like a technology that has a future.

And people hardly ever need to brake when going downhill (does anyone do that actually?) Any speed you lose beyond the max speed you can go on the following straight will be additional energy you need to expend.
(The article also doesn't mention that this is intended solely for descending slopes.)

This entire thing seem like a very stupid way to implement a tax on personal mobility.
ubavontuba
1.3 / 5 (14) Nov 29, 2013
Undulations Ahead... LOL
MR166
1.6 / 5 (14) Nov 29, 2013
If you think about it a bit you would realize that these ramps would have to be shorter than the wheelbase of the vehicles in order for the ramp to return to normal before the next vehicle passes over it. Thus, it would be like driving on speed bumps. Plus that regenerative braking will be common place as vehicle mpg requirements increase so the energy lost during braking will not be lost.
Sean_W
1 / 5 (11) Nov 29, 2013
Sell the rights to harvest the energy to private holders so they would be required to maintain the roads in order to keep people driving over them. Instead of paying taxes for roads you buy gas and drive. The further you drive the more money you spend generating energy for the owner. Private roads without the tolls.

Maybe it wouldn't work but it's better than a perpetual motion machine which is what this would be as a "sustainable energy" source.
kochevnik
1 / 5 (12) Nov 29, 2013
This technology was first put on show in Germany a few years ago: Smart sidewalks
MR166
1.3 / 5 (15) Nov 29, 2013
"This technology was first put on show in Germany a few years ago: Smart sidewalks"

Good God, the members of this board have absolutely no idea about the amount of energy that can be produced given a certain mechanical input. Microwatt, milliwatt and gigawatt hours are all the same to them.
kochevnik
1.5 / 5 (13) Nov 29, 2013
"This technology was first put on show in Germany a few years ago: Smart sidewalks"

Good God, the members of this board have absolutely no idea about the amount of energy that can be produced given a certain mechanical input. Microwatt, milliwatt and gigawatt hours are all the same to them.
Are you responding to something I wrote, or are you still working on those reading skills? When your teacher gives you a red star, you can start algebra
Foundation
1 / 5 (11) Nov 30, 2013
Seeing how regenerative brakeing is starting to take hold...doesn't seem like a technology that has a future.

And people hardly ever need to brake when going downhill (does anyone do that actually?)

That's probably because you 'brake' on your engine. Try shifting in neutral and rolling downhill for a few minutes. You'll probably go over 100km/h fairly quickly

But I agree, with regenerative braking the system doesn't seem to have a future.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Nov 30, 2013
Try shifting in neutral and rolling downhill for a few minutes. You'll probably go over 100km/h fairly quickly

I don't know any hill where you actually can go down for 'several minutes'.

(And 100km/h isn't exactly a speed that anyone would start braking at over here. 100km/h is a perfectly normal - and legal - speed...even on country roads. In cities it's 50km/h. But the number of steep hills inside cities where you can coast down to gather any kind of speed is rather limited to the point of non-existence)
RealScience
not rated yet Dec 01, 2013
@anti - There are some long hills even in the eastern US where I can coast for 8 km, and reach 130 km/h (although in winter I only hit 110 km/h). Since I start down at 80 km/h, that's about a 5-minute coast. (But related to this article, I'd be pretty annoyed if someone ruined my coasting with the equivalent of a series of speed bumps...).

There are longer downhills out west, but they usually have enough curves that I have to use the brakes. One can still be going downhill for 15 minutes, though.

More news stories

Hackers of Oman news agency target Bouteflika

Hackers on Sunday targeted the website of Oman's official news agency, singling out and mocking Algeria's newly re-elected president Abdelaziz Bouteflika as a handicapped "dictator".

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Easter morning delivery for space station

Space station astronauts got a special Easter treat: a cargo ship full of supplies. The shipment arrived Sunday morning via the SpaceX company's Dragon cargo capsule.