HAIFA, Israel (Reuters)-
The Beginning of Israel's Energy-
Up wants to turn the annoying rush hour into a source of electricity.
Innowattech, an energy company affiliated to the Israel Institute of Technology, says special generators installed under roads, railways and runways can collect enough energy from passing vehicles. -
Generators contain a material that generates electricity when mechanical forces are applied, such as the pressure generated by past automobile tyres.
This process, known as piezoelectricity, has been used on a small scale for many years, including barbecue lighters and dance clubs, where dancers'thumping feet illuminate the floor.
URI amit, chairman of innowattech, said the company's technology would be the largest piezoelectric application ever, with only one 1-km (half-mile)-
A highway that can provide up to 100 kilowatts of electricity can power about 40 houses.
This technology has its limitations because it can only collect steady current from busy roads and railways.
But Amit says, anyway, Pick-
At the beginning and end of the working day, demand for electricity coincides with heavy traffic.
"On any busy road, we can use energy that is usually wasted to generate electricity," Amit said.
He said the first pilot project would start at 30 meters in the coming months. （90 foot)
Highway zones outside Tel Aviv and similar projects may begin internationally in 2010.
Efstathios Meletis, director of the Department of Material Science and Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington, said Innowatech technology was a "theoretically achievable and ideal law".
But he said problems may arise in the implementation and coordination process, requiring generators to be buried on a large number of roads and train tracks.
One obstacle is to find a way to package generators so that they are effective when buried on the road.
Eugeny Harash, the company's chief scientist, has developed an asphalt-like shell.
Then, during the regular maintenance period of 30 cm, the generator is put on the road. (11 inch)squares.
"Asphalt is elastic. The pressure of each passing tire is received by a generator, which is buried about 3 centimeters. (1 inch)
Under the road,'Harash said.
"Drivers don't even feel different.
"Piezoelectric materials have a service life of at least 30 years, longer than most roads," Harash said.
Generators can also be placed on sleepers or sleepers on rails to collect energy from trains, he said.
Energy is transferred to the storage system along the highway, about every 500 meters. (0. 3 miles).
These energy can then be fed into the main grid and even recharged as part of the future electric vehicle infrastructure.
Innowattech chairman Amit said the current cost of installing a kilometer（half-mile)
The cost of one lane is about $650,000 and $6,500 per kilowatt.
When mass production starts, he said, prices could drop by two-thirds, making the system cheaper than solar systems.
The company says the target cost of generating electricity is 3. -
10 cents per kilowatt-hour depends on the volume of traffic.
Wind power costs are comparable, while fossil fuels cost about 5 cents per kilowatt hour.