Apparently all those pot-holes that make your car go up and down are just wasting valuable energy that could power such things as street lamps and traffic lights. An English inventor has developed in-road ramps that that are pressed down each time a car drives over them. The motion of the ramps going up and down drives a generator that can produce anywhere from five to 50kW per vehicle depending on the weight that goes over them. The inventor, one Peter Hughes, says the ramp is silent, comfortable and safe for vehicles, according to the BBC.
TreeHugger.com also has a post up on the ramp generators and the author asks what’s the difference if an electric powerplant or your vehicle’s gas engine is providing power to the traffic light since the power is still being generated? It seems the ramps take the burden off of a city’s infrastructure and places it on the citizenry in their passing vehicles. Though he’s right, the additional acceleration a vehicle needs to pass over the ramp or regain speed afterwards means this isn’t free energy, the production of it has just been reapportioned.

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