Vehicle-Powered Generators Hit The Road

Americans own an estimated 250 million vehicles, and drive an estimated six billion miles every day. What if we were able to harness the energy we use in transporting goods and people to generate electricity with no additional emissions? New Energy Technologies has developed a road-based technology that does just that. The MotionPower Express captures the kinetic energy of moving vehicles and converts 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 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.

image via New Energy Technologies

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. The company also has other products in the works, like the “Solar Window,” a spray-on, transparent, electricity-generating coating for glass that can be used in many different applications.

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Lauren Craig is a writer and consultant living in Seattle, WA. She holds an M.S. in International Development from Tulane University, and is co-founder of Sustainable Systems Integrators, LLC., an employee-owned solar energy design and installation firm in New Orleans, LA. She is also certified in PV design and installation by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).