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Powerful Roads in California


RR041917 powerfulroadsApril 19, 2017 – California’s famously congested freeways may soon do more than create headaches, according to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle. State officials agreed to fund an initiative to generate electrical power from traffic, a plan that involves harnessing road vibrations with the intent of turning the automobile, like the sun and wind, into a viable source of renewable energy. The technology is peculiar but proven. Devices that convert mechanical force into electricity are used in watches and lighters and are being tested for power generation on sidewalks and runways. A San Francisco nightclub has even leveraged the pulses of a dance floor to power its lights and music. But it remains to be seen whether the science can be employed on a large scale – threaded beneath the state’s sprawling highway system and rigged to produce significant, cost-effective electricity.