Israeli scientists generate electricity from road traffic
Oct 5, 2009 - McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Israeli scientists have achieved a breakthrough in alternative energy, by generating electricity from road traffic. The technology was developed by Ra'anana-based start up Innowwattech Ltd., and Israel National Roads Company Ltd. and the Technion Israel Institute of Technology participated in the trial.
Innowwattech says that presents a pioneering invention for "Parasitic Energy harvesting".
The trial proved, for the first time in the world, how Israeli technology can generate electricity from generators installed beneath a road's asphalt layer. The trial was conducted along a ten-meter stretch of Road 4 at the Hefer Junction, north of Hadera. Following the success of the test, it will be expanded to several one-kilometer stretches of the road, one of Israel's main north-south traffic arteries.
Israel National Roads CEO Alex Viznitzer said, "The success of the trial this week is an important milestone in the breakthrough of this technology. We live in a small country with a significant advantage in research and know-how, compared with many countries in the world that are seeking ways to conserve energy that is being wasted."
Innowwattech senior technologist and project manager Dr. Lucy Edery-Azulay said that the generators developed by the company are place at a depth of five centimeters beneath the upper asphalt layer of a road. "The technology is based on piezoelectric materials, which convert mechanical energy generated from a vehicle's weight into electricity. Drivers feel no change in the road. Regular vehicle traffic can generate 2,000 watts per hour. The electricity is accumulated in batteries placed along the side of the road."