Engineers at Innowattech in Israel recently created a new type of road that generates electricity as vehicles pass over it! The supercharged surface is embedded with piezoelectric crystals, which transform kinetic energy from passing vehicles into an electrical current. With widespread adoption, the technology could feed energy back into the nation’s burgeoning electric vehicle grid, transforming congested roadways into a clean green source of energy.
The energy-generating roadway works thanks to piezoelectric crystals embeded in the asphalt. As vehicles pass over them, the vibrations generate a small amount of electricity that travels to a larger transformer which then distributes the energy. The generators can be as thin as a few centimeters or can cover large expansive surfaces, and can be easily adapted for a variety of different transit systems including roadways, railways and even airplane runways.
Even though the amount of electricity generated is not that much (around 400 kilowatts per kilometer), we’re inspired by the innovative approach and far reaching implications of the technology. The team, led by Haim Abramovich, is getting ready to test the system on a 100 meter road next month in Israel.