I am all in favour of finding new ways to generate power. Whether it’s wind farms, solar power, harnessing the waves or even the way I mentioned in a previous post about road heating. I came across another really good way of generating electricity the other day and that is using speed bumps to generate power when cars travel over them. The system is to be piloted in London where the power generated will be used to power traffic lights.
The £55,000 sleeping policemen will be tested in Ealing, West London as part of a pilot scheme – each one is capable of generating more than £20,000 worth of power over 12 months.
Electricity is generated from the speed bumps as the bump moves up and down as vehicles drive over them. This moves a cog under the road which turns a motor – in turn producing mechanical energy.
A steady stream of traffic passing over the bump can generate 10-36kW of power, enough to power traffic lights and put unused electricity into the national grid.
A spokesperson for Hughes Research who make the ramp said: “The Ramp operates by virtue of a number of articulated plates placed in the road.
“When vehicles weight is exerted on the plates they are moved up and down and by means of a specially designed mechanism, a generator is driven, which is capable of producing AC or DC current.
“In either event, the generator’s output will vary according to the frequency and weight of traffic, but in general terms will be capable of producing between 5 and 10kW.”
I love ideas like this and think that more effort should be put into investigating whether similar schemes are viable. Already, road signs are being powered by solar power.
It also sounds like it could be a good way to escape a speeding fine. You could claim that you were going faster than the speed limit to help the environment !