Last week New Energy Technologies went on the road to try out its MotionPower-Express system, which it calls the world’s first electricity-generating rumble strip. The test took place in the City of Roanoke, Virginia.
The demonstration took place at the Roanoke Civic Center, attracting nearly 6000 visitors and over 580 vehicles. When drivers slowed down or stopped their vehicles, their tires depressed small rumble strip-like treadles, which allowed for the capture of kinetic energy. The captured energy was then converted electricity that was used to power a series of brightly illuminated lights displayed for drivers.
New Energy estimates that an optimized and installed MotionPower system experiencing a traffic pattern similar to the event at the Civic Center could produce enough alternative energy to power lights for the average American home for an entire day. In commercial applications, the same electricity could power a 150 square foot sports-venue electronic billboard or marquee for an entire day.
The company added that the system can be designed for a range of speeds based on traffic pattern and the amount of energy required for a specific application. Sport and entertainment venues, solid waste transfer stations, fleet vehicle maintenance facilities, transportation depots, airports (passenger arrival and departure areas), parking lots, border crossings, exit ramps, neighborhoods with traffic calming zones, rest areas, toll booths, and travel plazas are some of the examples the company gives as possible contexts to which apply its technology.
“MotionPower can offset the city’s cost of operating traffic control devices, such as traffic signals and street lights,” said Mark Jamison, City of Roanoke Manager of Transportation. “This innovative partnership with New Energy Technologies has the potential to provide a more sustainable environment, while simultaneously conserving strained budgets of cities across the nation.”
Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.