Subway Concept Powered By Displaced Air

The name is a take on the words ‘ecological and ‘local,’ but to many, the Ecoloco concept may sound just plain loco: a sustainable subway system that harnesses the air displacement created by its movement to power itself.

Come again? That’s right–analogous to the way regenerative braking in hybrid cars generates energy that goes back to the power the car itself, both the Ecoloco train and the tunnels through which it rides are equipped with small wind turbine-like devices that harvest the air displaced by the movement of the train. Likewise, the heat created by the electric engine is recycled in the form of climate control for those who ride this unique off-grid subway during the chillier months.

Ecoloco

image via Colby Cook

Designer Colby Cook of Medford, Massachusetts deserves some serious props here for thinking outside of the box, and looking for ways to harvest energy otherwise wasted by the nation’s public transportation systems. Even if such trains were not able to divorce themselves entirely from the grid, energy-harvesting technologies such as this could greatly decrease the power demands of the average subway.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.