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Harvesting the energy of vehicle and pedestrian traffic

By placing bellows underneath the concrete on roads and sidewalks, energy can be generated when pedestrians or vehicles apply weight to the ground. When weight is applied on the surface the bellows push air through an electricity generating turbine. This technology can be applied rather cheaply and easily as the infrastructure is already in place.

Photo of Ben Tantanella
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http://cleantechnica.com/2013/12/16/generating-electricity-weight-cars-pedestrians-system-developed-exploit-energy-passing-cars/

So much energy is spent traveling. If we can reclaim some of that energy then we can start moving closer to renewability, by recycling our own energy.

Please indicate which type of energy is most relevant to this post

  • A combination of various types of renewable energy

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Photo of Deborah Paterson

Hi Ben, great contribution! I wonder what areas you might apply this to in order to pilot and illustrate the benefits to the community as there is an upfront installation investment required. Perhaps an area of high use or high energy which has a tangible energy need to keep that space running like an athletics track that needs to power it's lights or a heavy pedestrian traffic area of town which could generate energy for traffic lights. Perhaps there is more opportunity in exploring how you could make highly used spaces more exciting through artistic expression powered by the energy generated from crowds. I have seen a night club which uses these on the dance floor and it powers the lights and music for the space. Looking forward to seeing where you take this in the ideas phase!

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