If you remember New Energy Technologies and their electricity generating speed bump, you may now rest assured that they’re getting some help. They’d probably see it as competition, but Israeli firm Innowattech has successfully tested its own method of generating electricity from road traffic.
The test took place on a 10 meter stretch of Highway 4. Passing cars provided enough power for street lights at that section. The technology that powers it – generators are implanted two inches below the asphalt layer and create energy from the weight of the cars passing over them. The watts are stored in batteries on the side of the road.
An unanswered question remains to be, doesn’t this just take energy from one place and give it to another? What I mean is, the energy that is now used to push down a generator and light up a street light could have otherwise been used for travel. The question, more directly, is this: Don’t the generators slow you down? If so, then you’ll have to use more gasoline to travel, offsetting the benefits. If they don’t, then there shouldn’t be any problem and street lights become self-powered.
If the state agrees to install it on its highways, then I guess it’s worth it. Meanwhile, we’ll be waiting and seeing what comes about.