A new system that could eventually see use on public roads generates electricity from vehicles rather than providing it to them. The system relies on kinetic energy and could ideally be used to capture energy from moving cars and later charge those same vehicles.
The system would be installed within the roadway and many would be positioned in high traffic areas. It works by the weight of a vehicle passing over it. The vehicle pushes metal plates up and down. The movement of the plates generates electricity and stores it within the system.
The system will see testing in front of the Four Season Hotel in Washington, as well as at a Holiday Inn in Baltimore and a Burger King in metropolitan New York.
For now, it is referred to as the Motion Power Harvester. It has the appearance of a large heating duct with louvers that move up and down as one drives across them. The louver portions are spring loaded. They are depressed and released as every single car passes over them. The motion generates electricity which can be sent to the grid, used to power street lights, or could even be tied in with charging stations to provide additional charging power to EVs.
The thought of vehicles moving down roadways and eventually providing the energy needed to recharge themselves is forward thinking and the method appears adaptable to most roadways, but with no mention of cost, the system may be to pricey to see widespread use.
The testing underway will give municipalities and utility companies a better understanding of how much power can be generated and what will be suitable uses for the electricity generated.