TED Conversations

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Piezoelectricity created from cars driving to add to the grid

Imbedding rows of Piezoelectric devices like what they put in cigarette lighters into the lanes of heavy used freeways that will create electricity that can be plugged into the grid? It would take what would be other wise wasted gasoline energy and convert it to usable energy. You could make a strip about a foot wide and imbed it where the tires normally are in the lane and the force to compress it to generate the electricity to that of down force of each tire of an average weight car. Sorry about the grammar and I post it here because I didn’t know what else to do with the idea


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Mar 10 2013: Hi Daniel.
    This reminds me of the idea that car headlights should be used in lieu of street lights. If you switch on your headlights while your car is idleing you will hear the engine take the strain, so headlights cost gas. There is no free lunch.
    I would think that as the tyre mounts the switch it will have a braking effect on the wheel, which in turn will require more gas to overcome to maintain momentum. Physics being what it is I would guess that the energy in that gas would be considerably greater than that produced by the road. 2nd. Law of Thermodynamics rules supreme!

    • Mar 10 2013: I was thinking the same thing also peter but it is energy spent in waste. anyways the wheel is going to spin the pressure is still going to press down no matter if the device is there or not its more recollecting what is otherwise lost. And the way I was thinking to have the devices is with a cover over them and the compression travel of the device short so as you walk on it or drive on it it appears a hard surface when your talking about so many of them you don’t need every device to create a lot but the many creates a lot
      • thumb
        Mar 11 2013: If the device goes down the wheel goes down with it. The vehicle then has to use gas to rise again. If however you use the device only on a downward slope then you are onto something. The device would try to slow the vehicle & produce power. Chances are that the vehicle would be using the device instead of brakes, which waste power anyway.
        So if we use it on downhill slopes, or at halt signs etc., where the braking force would be of benefit to the vehicle, then it would work. A financially viable system may be some way off, but the idea is sound. Big ones at busy airports would be awesome, but would need to be switchable or the planes would never get back off the ground.

        • Mar 15 2013: I like what you mentioned about using it on a hill or at stop signs because then you could use a higher capacity piezo device because your just recapturing waste energy
        • Mar 16 2013: peter the piezo device to activate only moves 5mm from the top to the bottom to generate the energy the tire doesn't go up and down but more the sidewall of the tire flexes less think of it this way the part of the tire that contacts the ground the side wall flexes then releases if the tire is on soft ground the ground flexes either way its a loss of energy what I'm proposing is instead of releasing energy through the flexing of the tire have it released through the ground. either a soft tire on hard ground or a hard tire on soft ground there is going to be energy spent. does that make sense?
    • thumb
      Mar 10 2013: While there is energy used in the system there may be energy that is wasted, or as in this case , energy that can be recaptured.
      Think of the inefficiency of a clothes dryer. If you can capture the exhausted heat and utilize it you've made the system more efficient. The same idea is applied to changing your engine's oil and burning it in an oil burning heater to eliminate the waste oil.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.