Let’s keep those cars on the road – because the weight of vehicles driving over metal plates could be used to generate electricity. (Perfect for lining public transport routes).
Usually you expect cars to require a power source. Now if what a company that calls itself an incubator of energy ideas comes to fruition, the actual movement of cars over the road might generate electricity. Octillion Corp. says it is devoting some of its resources to the development of safe, economically viable technologies capable of producing clean electricity from the kinetic energy of moving vehicles, including cars, buses, trucks, trains and rapid transit. To facilitate this, Octillion has formed a new, wholly owned subsidiary, Kinetic Power Corp., specifically focused on harnessing the kinetic energy of vehicles in motion, and more broadly, working to enhance the sustainability and energy efficiency of transportation infrastructures and systems.
“In the United States, nearly 70 percent of our electricity is generated by coal and natural gas, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration,” said Nicholas S. Cucinelli, Octillion president and CEO. “The environmental impact and rising costs of these nonrenewable fuels, along with the potential doubling of global electricity consumption in the coming years, clearly illustrates the urgent need for more creative, sustainable methods for generating electricity.”
So how does it work? The weight of vehicles moving onto and off plates under road surfaces can provide movement that can be harnessed to generate electricity that is then sent to the power grid. The company has other ideas for energy generation as well, like the development of the first-of-its-kind transparent window capable of generating electricity. When thin films of silicon nanoparticles are deposited (sprayed) onto silicon substrates, ultraviolet light is absorbed and converted into electrical current, which, like the electricity from a battery, can be stored or sent to the electrical grid. Through the company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Sungen Energy Inc., researchers are working to develop technologies with the potential to convert glass building facades and skylights into energy-generating resources economically while preserving the traditional viewscape and day lighting attributes valued by building occupants and architects.