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Working prototype generates electricity from moving vehicles


April 12, 2009

The MotionPower system is designed to trap small amounts of kinetic energy

The MotionPower system is designed to trap small amounts of kinetic energy

April 10, 2009 The United States has about 250 million registered vehicles, which adds up to a lot of pollution and burning of fossil fuels. New Energy Technologies, Inc. prefers to look at it another way, however – they see those 250 million vehicles as a potential energy source and have developed a prototype engineered to harness some of the kinetic energy being generated, and wasted, by moving cars and light vehicles.

The company’s MotionPower system is designed to trap small amounts of kinetic energy drivers generate simply by driving over the energy-capturing device. Having successfully engineered and built the first prototype, New Energy engineers are now working to optimize the efficiency of the MotionPower device ahead of installations at high traffic locations, such as tollbooths, traffic intersections, rest areas, travel plazas, restaurant and bank drive-thrus, border crossings, and neighborhoods with traffic calming zones.

Once installed, engineers anticipate that the devices may be used to augment or replace conventional electricity supplies used to power roadway signs, street and building lights, storage systems for back-up and emergency power, and other electronics, appliances and devices in homes and businesses.

New Energy is a little coy about discussing how the system works or the expected output. The prototype’s modular design, however, means that the MotionPower system can be customized, depending on site conditions, to maximize power output. According to New Energy, the device is easy to install, has been engineered in such a way that it can be easily manufactured and is resistant to damage from vehicles, road debris or weather.

Engineers are also working to ensure that the system can adapt to the unique characteristics of different vehicles to optimize the amount of energy captured and reduce, or avoid, any adverse effects on safety, passenger comfort and stability of cargo.

With transportation being one of the "big three" when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, any system that helps improve energy efficiency and cut emissions is beneficial to the environment. As well, as vehicles generating kinetic energy become greener, so does the MotionPower system. We’ll be watching with interest to see if the technology can make the leap from prototype to real world implementation.

Darren Quick

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

Have seen this system several times. Don't believe its free nor green energy. The energy has to come from somewhere. To use the small downward force you would get means your car had to use energy to get to the previous higher point. I would come from the gas tank and my wallet. It would be free to the the places using the energy, but not the drivers. The only place these would be considered green would be on downhill grades or stopping points where you would want to burn off speed anyway.



You mean like were they are suggesting they be installed.

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