Electicity-Generating Speed Bumps

It’s called the “Motion Power Energy Harvester,” and before even reading about this thing, I can bet I know the principles of its operation. Speed bumps are designed to slow you down, right? Of course right. How they work now is that you’re supposed to hit your break before you go over the bump so your car doesn’t thwack up and down too violently. The speed bump itself, though, doesn’t do much to slow you down. So change that to having the speed bump itself slow you down, and collect the energy you would otherwise be spending on rubbing breaks on your tires.

The bump has pedals on it which press down when tires roll over them. The force of pushing the pedals down turns gears which generate 2 kilowatts of electricity instantaneously. Since the energy required to push the pedals down is a lot, it will simultaneously slow the car down. And it does. The prototype is currently in operation at a Burger King drivethru in New Jersey. The company: New Energy Technologies.

The device is basically a flattened speed bump with long pedals across the top. The problem isn’t producing the electricity. The problem is collecting it and distributing it.

The engineer who designed this is Jerry Lynch, who says that “If this is multiplied by ten times the length and we have 100,000 or 150,000 cars a year the device will pay back in less than two years.”

Company President Meetesh Patel says Motion Power devices could be effectively used in any number of high traffic areas.

It’s not ready for market yet, but when it is, this company may be going far.

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