Prototype piezoelectric road could generate power by simply sitting there

Darren Murph
D. Murph|12.13.08

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Prototype piezoelectric road could generate power by simply sitting there
By sitting there and getting ran over by motorcars, that is. In an effort to best other power-generating highway options that involve solar panels and enlarged blender arms, Britain's Environmental Transport Association is looking to test a prototype highway that's embedded with piezoelectric crystals. Essentially, the process would work much like the power-generating Tokyo station floors we saw earlier this week; each car that squishes a crystal would contribute a tiny bit of energy, and the collective effect could be enormous. In fact, it's estimated that a single kilometer of roadway could generate 400-kilowatts of energy, or enough to power around eight small cars. And we're no rocket scientists (nor physicists), but we're assuming these whiz kids already made sure these magic crystals weren't friction-generating, too. Right?
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