Vehicle-powered generators hit the road

Americans own an estimated 250 million vehicles, and drive approximately six billion miles every day.

But what if we were able to harness the energy used in transporting goods and people to generate electricity with no additional emissions?

Well, New Energy Technologies has developed a road-based technology – MotionPower Express – that does just that by capturing the kinetic energy of moving vehicles and converting it into electricity.

After conducting field tests at Burger King, Four Seasons Hotel and Holiday Inn Express, the company recently demonstrated the technology publicly for the first time at the Civic Center in Roanoke, Va.

The MotionPower Express works by creating a section of roadway where vehicles are required to decelerate or stop.

Using a unique patent-pending “mechanical and fluid-driven technology,” the system “assists” vehicles in slowing down, and simultaneously captures the slowing vehicle’s kinetic energy before it is lost as heat and friction.

According to New Energy Technologies, MotionPower-Express is suitable for use in any situation where vehicles are traveling faster than 15 mph and are slowing down to stop, including: entertainment, amusement and sports complexes; parking lots; border crossings; exit ramps; neighborhoods with traffic calming zones; rest areas; toll booths; and travel plazas.

The company anticipates that MotionPower devices may one day be used to augment or replace generators used to power roadway signs, street and building lights, emergency power storage systems and other electronics, appliances and devices used in homes and businesses.

New Energy Technologies has also developed the MotionPower-Heavy system, suitable for generating power from the motion of big rigs, heavy trucks and buses. In addition, the company is working on other products, such as the “Solar Window,” a spray-on, transparent, electricity-generating coating for glass that can be used in many different applications.

* Lauren Craig, EarthTechling