Imagine a day without electricity. No AC’s, no TV, no internet, no mobile charging, no fridge, no oven. No, I am talking about days before electricity was invented. However, considering, coal has again become a major source of energy, it seems we may return back to those days. But with just a difference. we know about Electricity but we will exhaust all resources to generate it sooner than you think.
This is the only reason that Scientists are developing techniques to generate electricity from renewable resources. Resources which has the potential to generate electricity in large amounts. You all must be aware of the techniques to generate power using Solar Energy, Hydro Energy and Wind Energy.
But do you know there are many other techniques for generating electricity except the most common ones I just cited. Techniques which may sound bizarre but exhibit great potential to generate power in large amounts. In addition to large amount of power being generated, these techniques are also eco-friendly and could help in reducing the Global warming to a great extent. Today I am going to tell you about one such technique and i.e. “Generation of Power through Speed Breakers”.
Yes, I know everybody hates Speed Breakers. Reason is the name of it that it breaks our speed average. But we know they are important. One benefit that we all were not aware of it and now also we are not obtaining that benefit from the Speed Breakers is “It could be used to generate Power”. Let’s have a look at how to get that benefit from Speed Breakers.
Generally, when a vehicle is in motion it produces various forms of energy. For example, due to friction between the vehicle’s wheel and road i.e. rough surface HEAT Energy is produced. Also, when a vehicle’s high speed strikes the wind, even then heat energy is produced. But this energy can’t be used as there is no way to capture and harness it. It can also be said that all this energy that we can’t make use of is just Wastage of Energy that is abundantly available around us. The basic principle of generation of electricity through speed breakers is “Conversion of Potential Energy of vehicle to Electrical Energy”. The form of energy that is used to convert in electricity varies depending on the Mechanism that is being used for the generation.
There are 4 types of mechanisms to implement this method of producing electricity. They are as follows:
- Spring Coil Mechanism
- Rack-Pinion Mechanism
- Crank-Shaft Mechanism
- Roller Mechanism
While moving, the vehicles possess some kinetic energy which is wasted. This kinetic energy can be utilized to produce power by using a special arrangement called POWER HUMP. It is an Electro-Mechanical unit. It utilizes both mechanical technologies and electrical techniques for the power generation and its storage. POWER HUMP is a dome like device likely to be a speed breaker. Whenever the vehicle is allowed to pass over the dome, it gets pressed downwards. Underneath the Speed Breaker some electro-mechanical system is installed. This system takes this Potential Energy in the form of suppression from the vehicle and converts it into the Electrical Energy through their series of operation. A common part of all system is connection with the Shaft of Generator. The end operation is the rotation of this shaft to generate electricity by conversion of mechanical energy into electrical energy. The conversion will be proportional to traffic density.
Read Also: Power Distribution
Rack and Pinion Method
Speed breaker POWER GENERATOR is electro-mechanical energy generating machine. This machine converts reciprocating motion in to rotary motion. The rotational power is stored in flywheel & flywheel rotates dynamo, which generates electricity.
Here first important point is how we get reciprocating motion, which is the prime input in the system. For that we use weight of Moving vehicle on the Speed breaker. We put our machine underneath the Speed breaker installing different units. All the units are connected to the common shaft using chain and sprocket drive.
The head of rack is brought up to level beneath the speed breaker surface. When vehicle moves on the speed breaker, the rack will be pushed down. The rack is attached with free wheel type pinion that rotates in one direction only. The rack & pinion arrangement convert reciprocating motion into rotary motion.
This rotary motion is further magnified using reciprocating motion into rotary motion-belt & pulley drive. The output of pulley is attached with flywheel which stores kinetic energy and transfer to dynamo which generate electricity with zero cost. In a generator, something causes the shaft and armature to spin. This generated power is used for various application required by different user.
- Power generation with low cost and using non-conventional energy sources which will help us to conserve the conventional energy sources to meet the future demand.
- By using this method, electricity will be generated throughout the year without depending on other factors
- Easy for maintenance and no fuel transportation problem.
- Pollution free power generation
- Less floor area required and no obstruction to traffic
- No need of manpower during power generation.
The whole arrangement of this system is very much simple and very compact. Implementation of it should be taken up as the priority task in Energy Generation industry. I think a proper planning committee should be appointed in the states to plan on the implementation of this technique. To discuss the probable places where this could be applied, resulting in generation of huge amounts of energy which could satisfy the daily demand of at least some devices. Some probable future scope is as listed below:
- Such systems should be installed in urban areas. As, we have more vehicles in urban areas that would result in the generation of more electric power.
- The power generated could be stored in batteries and used for lightening the Street Lights at night.
- Mechanisms should be designed for heavy vehicles, thus increasing the torque and ultimately output of generator.
- This technique could be combined with the Wireless Electricity System. The energy from the generator should be stored in the batteries at the charging stations in towns. Consequently, it would be used to charge the Electric Cars of our Future.
Power is the major need for human life. Energy is an important input in all sectors of any countries economy. The increasing demand for electricity and limited supply of fuel, calls for the need of alternative sources of energy. Now, I am sure you would never scoff at the speed breakers. Instead we should go support this idea and ask the government to implement this at many more places.
There many other techniques of power generation from our day-to-day activities. To know about them wait for my next blog on Power Generation.