April 27, 2011 weblog
California may use vibrational energy of driving to generate power
(PhysOrg.com) -- When you get into your car, for the daily commute or for a relaxing weekend visit to a friend house you give off energy. Not just the energy from the fossil fuels that you burn, but a different kind of energy, vibrational energy. Most of us do not give that energy a second thought, unless we're trying to do something that requires fine motor skills, such as putting the lid back onto your slightly deformed cup of scalding hot coffee, but it is there.
It is also a potential source of a green, and renewable energy. California Assemblyman Mike Gatto, a democrat from the Burbank district, hopes to help his home state to use it effectively. He has put in motion a legislation proposing that, if it passes, would create a pilot program designed to capture those vibrations.
The system, if implemented, would place sensors under a stretch of California roads. These sensors would be able to collect the vibrations caused by traffic and covert them into power. This system, know as piezoelectric generation, has the potential to add significantly to the power supply, if the system were implemented on a larger scale. A potential test patch, a one mile stretch of a two lane highway, would be able to create enough new electricity to power roughly 500 homes for an entire year, or give juice to 120 electrical vehicles each day. Not to mention the powering of street lights and traffic signals.
The proposal does not divert funds from any areas, since California regularly sets aside funds for these types of projects. It also would not represent any interruption to the flow of traffic in the state, since the sensors would only be placed under the ground during the regular repaving of roads. No word yet on when this bill will go to a vote or when residents of the state of California can expect to see these changes, should the bill pass in the state legislation.
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