Isreali engineers are about to begin testing a 100 metre stretch of roadway embedded with a network of Piezo Electric Generators (IPEG™). The piezoelectric effect converts mechanical strain into electrical current or voltage and the system is expected to scale up to 400 kilowatts from a 1-kilometre stretch of dual carriageway. The IPEG™ is a pioneering invention in the field of Parasitic Energy harvesting and generates energy from weight, motion, vibration and temperature changes and will certainly have other parasitic energy harvesting applications in many fields. Initially though, the system can be configured to generate and store energy from roads, airport runways and rail systems at the same time as delivering real-time data on the weight, frequency and spacing between passing vehicles. The harvested energy can be transferred back to the grid, or used for specific public infrastructure purposes such as lighting and widespread use of the system would enable far greater scrutiny and hence understanding of the behaviour of road vehicles.
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