Speed Bumps Could Power Electric Grid


Customers at a Burger King in Hillside, NJ could get a whopper of a surprise--underneath their car.

A new mechanized speed bump in the parking lot serves two purposes: it slows down cars, and it stores some of each car's coasting energy.

"We use the weight of a car to throw a lever," said Gerard Lynch, the engineer behind the MotionPower system developed for New Energy Technologies, according to Scientific American. "The instantaneous power is 2,000 watts at five miles-per-hour." The 'instantaneous' part means the energy will need to be stored somehow, in order to be of use. "The real key is how do I get a million cars to do that for me."

Right now, the company is testing a mini-flywheel, which stores energy by spinning. The idea is to feed the electricity back into the grid. "How do we capture and hold these pulses efficiently so we can dispatch them at the right time when the electricity rate is most advantageous," Lynch said in the article. "Here in Hillside, the average price when you take delivery is 17.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. It's double that in peak summer. The idea is: let's hit it all day and return [that power] at 3 PM in the afternoon."

One speed bump isn't going to accomplish much, of course--and right now, it's technically not accomplishing anything. But as the report points out, the potential is there, given that there are over 250 million registered vehicles in the U.S.--many of which are stumbling over speed bumps as I write this.


Copyright GCTEC - GoodCleanTech
Contact Us