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We've seen plenty of devices that are meant to recapture the kinetic energy of an automobile as it moves overhead, most recently at a Sainsbury's supermarket in Gloucester, United Kingdom. Oddly enough, we'll soon see the technology at a Burger King franchise in New Jersey as a company called New Energy has announced plans to trial its MotionPower energy generator at the fast food joint's drive-thru.

The MotionPower technology generates electricity as a car drives over a series of plates that angle up out of the road surface. This is a case where a (moving) picture speaks a thousand words, so click here for a quick-and-dirty demonstration of how the technology works.

Assuming this initial installation proves successful, New Energy believes its MotionPower system would work at any number of high traffic locations that require a vehicle to slow down, such as toll booths, traffic intersections, rest areas, travel plazas, border crossings and neighborhoods with traffic calming zones. Oh yeah, and fast food drive-thrus, of course. Click past the break for the full press release.

PRESS RELEASE:

New Energy's Device for Generating Electricity from Moving Cars to Test at New Jersey Burger King Drive-Thru

BURTONSVILLE, Md.--New Energy Technologies, Inc. (Symbol: NENE), a next-generation alternative and renewable energy developer, today announced that engineers have completed development of the Company's newest MotionPower™ prototype for generating electricity from the movement of cars and light trucks, and will now undertake active field tests of the device at a drive-thru located at a prominent Burger King® franchise in the New York metropolitan area.

"I'm proud to announce that our engineering team has successfully completed our newest, ultra-low profile, modular, second-generation MotionPower™ prototype. We're eager to field test the device in a real world setting as part of our ongoing efforts to aggressively engineer, test, refine, and ultimately, commercially launch America's first active roadway energy capture system of its kind," explained Mr. Meetesh V. Patel, Esq., President and CEO of New Energy Technologies, Inc.

The Company announced plans to initiate durability testing of its MotionPower™ prototype device at quick-service giant, Burger King's, prominent franchise restaurant in the New York Metro area. Located in Hillside, New Jersey, the Burger King outlet is owned and operated by entrepreneurs, Mr. Andrew Paterno and Mr. Michael Wallstein. Mr. Paterno and Mr. Wallstein own and operate twelve Burger King restaurants in the New York Metro area.

"It's very exciting to be involved in the early testing and development of a brand new technology designed to generate electricity from the motion of vehicles. More than 150,000 cars drive through our Hillside store alone each year, and I think it would be great to capture the wasted kinetic energy of these hundreds of thousands of cars to generate clean electricity," stated Mr. Paterno.

Engineers have designed and built New Energy's latest MotionPower™ prototype as an ultra-low profile, modular device which can be easily customized to varying lengths based on site requirements. Once fully optimized for efficiency, engineers envision New Energy's MotionPower™ device for cars and light trucks could be installed at high traffic locations such as toll booths, traffic intersections, rest areas, travel plazas, border crossings, neighborhoods with traffic calming zones, and drive-thrus similar to the Burger King® test site.

Last month, the Company announced plans to expand its product range with development of a brand new fluid-driven MotionPower™ energy harvester for heavy trucks and vehicles, complimenting the Company's newly-prototyped mechanical MotionPower™ system for cars and light trucks.

New Energy also announced recently that the Company has filed nine new patent applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in order protect novel features of its MotionPower™ technology for generating electricity from the kinetic energy of moving vehicles.

New Energy engineers have developed MotionPower™ technologies, designed to generate 'clean' electricity by harnessing the kinetic energy of the estimated 250 million registered vehicles which drive more than 6 billion miles on America's roadways every day.


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  • 15 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      This will never be cost effective. Furthermore, the velocity of a car in a drive-through lane is never more than about 5 mph, so the energy being captured in this setup would be tiny. Even if they did manage to talk the DOT into allowing something like this on a road, who in their right mind is going to run over these at any kind of speed? I can lower valence parts being ripped off and tires being flattened when these are hit at an angle or on the side... or even from the proper direction. This is just a bad idea.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Theft.
      • 6 Years Ago
      If I drive a Prius to this place, do I get a rebate on my bill to make up for what they stole from me?
        • 6 Months Ago
        It wouldn't just rob a Prius driver. If you lift your foot off the brake or use the accelerator pedal at any point this will rob you too.

        Especially if you need extra umph to get over the plates which would more likely be the case for a small car.

        You get the (efficiency of this system) x (the efficiency of a car engine) + cost/impact of installing the system which makes you wonder if its green at all.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Finally, BK has found a way to make money.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm watching all this from Europe, where there aren't so many drive-ins, and I have to say - this is such a dumb idea. The very fact that you would be driving instead of walking to pick up your food is pretty un-green to start with, as Nixon points out. And then you pull back a miniscule amount of energy from the car compared with what it will have guzzled all day, less efficiency loss from the energy conversion. And all this is assuming that the energy absorber is placed in the correct location so that it actually saves some braking (if the car just hits the gas to recover the original speed you have in fact used more energy not less). The proportion of energy saved must be ridiculously small if you hit even a hundred of these things each day, when compared with the energy you have burned in travelling. Walking or riding a bike will cut your non-green CO2 consumption by 100%, not a few per cent. Even using a train will cut it by a massive proportion in comparison.

      Please, the only way to fix this problem is to stop the West's love affair with the car. For good. Can you guys let the President know for me?
      • 6 Years Ago
      If you don't want to drive over their plates in their drive-thru, there is an easy solution.

      Unglue your fat behind from your car seat and go inside instead of using the drive-thru.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Will Prius drivers now be screaming blue bloody murder because they won't be able to recapture the energy of their moving car back into *their* batteries?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Why would anybody actually complain about this? The energy loss per car is so minuscule its irrelevant. You probably lose more energy idling your car at the drive-through.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well, you could always plan your route to avoid those places.

        It would have a terrible total return on energy investment, so having everybody drive something with regen would (almost certianly) be far better.
        • 6 Months Ago
        polo, if the loss per vehicle is minuscule, conservation of energy states that the gain of energy by BK is less than minuscule.

        Any additional steps introduced in generating power introduces a loss of efficiency. This is a bad idea.
      • 6 Years Ago
      When did OBG posters turn into idiots? Theft? Billing BK for something you think is owed to you? What the hell? BK franchisees own the land your driving on. It does not belong to you. If you dislike BK and their plans, don't go there. Sheesh, some people.
        • 6 Months Ago
        "When did OBG posters turn into idiots?"

        Hah, funny! It's always funny where someone makes a mistake in the same sentence that they call someone an idiot.

        Btw: People know they can't charge BK, but they're just upset with the principle.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The vehicle is now a utility and the utility owner has the right to bill the consumer for the use of its services. Most of my utility bills have a flat $25 base fee plus the cost of energy. Burger King will end up owing everybody who uses its drive-thru. Not only that, vehicle owners will be able to deduct from their taxes the energy they give to the government entities that also claim energy from tax payer vehicles. This is a big mess waiting to happen.
        • 6 Months Ago
        I don't think you can bill them unless they agree to pay you before you drive over the plates.... with no agreement the transfer of energy is no more billable than rear-ending someone when the light turns green.
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