What if simply driving your car could generate electricity? No, we’re not talking about a Toyota Prius, but something on a much grander scale. Researchers in Israel believe that the weight and pressure of thousands of cars flying down the highway could create clean energy, enough to power everything nearby.
The key is piezoelectric technology, the word itself meaning electricity derived from pressure. As each car drives along the highway, the weight of the car presses down on small metallic crystals embedded under the surface which produce electrical energy. Unlike solar panels or wind turbines, this bit of green tech doesn’t need a large amount of space, and is naked to the human eye. The project has already been a great success, though roads in Israel are still in the testing phase, the electricity is not being transferred to the power grid just yet. Currently, they are able to harvest 60 percent of the energy, but as the efficiency increases, everything from street lamps to houses might be powered with 100 percent clean energy.
The company behind this idea, Innowattech, is also working on installing their systems in Germany. According to The Wall Street Journal, California’s state legislature is currently considering a bill which would install such piezoelectric systems under their roads as well.
For all you science nerds, to see how this actually all works, click here.
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