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cab

Didn't we discuss this a while ago?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/northamptonshire/6262134.stm

And wasn't the verdict that it would be a really lossy way of generating electricity?
Jonnyboy

If they are using gravity rather than fighting it, then it should. As always the devil is in the detail
dougal

It has nothing whatsoever to do with gravity.

The *source* of the energy is fuel burned in vehicle engines.

When a vehicle uses its brakes, some of its (kinetic) energy, (built up by burning fuel), is dumped to the air.
In principle, *IF* you can persuade people to let the 'funny bit of road' slow them down - INSTEAD of using their brakes - then some energy could be captured instead of being dumped.
However *IF* people slow down *before* the hump/ripples/whatever and then use engine power to push against the resistance - that is both a woefully inefficient and IMHO a downright dishonest means of powering a supermarket. A toll barrier would be more honest.

The 'detail' that determines its possible usefulness is the extent to which drivers can be trained to let the thing slow them down.
To work 'honestly' it requires installation in a spot where traffic *flows* constantly (no stopping ever) and yet the traffic is *always* on the brakes - otherwise its simply stealing heavily taxed road fuel to work a generator.
There is a whole set of other details about how effective it is at converting the energy captured from the vehicles into electricity - and for example, how much is wasted as noise.

Daft and greenwash, I'm afraid.
cab

Better than the earlier idea of local councils installing them though. It ain't completely impossible that drivers all working for the same employer will be trainable to use these humps to slow themselves down. But yes, on the face of things, 'greenwash' is a term that does spring to mind.
Behemoth

Bur, without knowing anything about it....

...some speed bumps/cusions are designed to be driven over at 30mph without impeding the car, go faster and it causes discomfort/damage. If the generating ramps could be hit in series, without *significant* resistance being encountered...

...but this is greenwash.

Don't burn the fuel in the first place by better road design and driving techniques.
dougal

Behemoth wrote:
If the generating ramps could be hit in series, without *significant* resistance being encountered...

Its the *resistance* that transfers the energy.
cab

Behemoth wrote:
Bur, without knowing anything about it....

...some speed bumps/cusions are designed to be driven over at 30mph without impeding the car, go faster and it causes discomfort/damage. If the generating ramps could be hit in series, without *significant* resistance being encountered...


Then no *significant* amount of electicity will be generated..

Quote:

...but this is greenwash.

Don't burn the fuel in the first place by better road design and driving techniques.


Yes, I'm very much inclined to agree.
Behemoth

dougal wrote:
Behemoth wrote:
If the generating ramps could be hit in series, without *significant* resistance being encountered...

Its the *resistance* that transfers the energy.


Oh, you've seen the flaw. Confused

"But we're doing something" bleat the company who want to put it in their glossy brochure about how lovely they are.
Jonnyboy

dougal wrote:
It has nothing whatsoever to do with gravity.


'It' hasn't. But I've always had this funny idea about using heavy cars and trucks to generate electricity through gravity. due to the locations they end up in.

For example, we drive cars to the top of huge car parks but don't utilise the potential energy that it creates, likewise supermarket loading bays could be designed split level so that the truck drives onto something, lowers down, is unloaded at the lower level and is driven out the otherside. In my minds eye I have a mechanical version of a canal lock. probably a load of B*lls mind you.
JB

I suppose it could be useful in a very few occasions. For example if you wanted to power a set of traffic lights somewhere that laying cables would be prohibitively expensive then the loss from the vehicles providing the power might be less than the loss from installing power cables.

Of course in a scenario like that you probably wouldn't require traffic lights / street lights / whatever. So it's still a bleedin' silly idea Smile
James

Why don’t Sainsbury’s make their floors out of tiny little sprung tiles which would move up and down under the weight of obese lazy shoppers to power tiny little generators? The energy from all these little motors would power chiller cabinets full of cream cakes and overly-lit shelves stacked high with pop tarts.
The energy exerted by the shoppers would mean that they’d need to eat more cakes and pies, which would result in a greater residence time in the supermarket, and therefore greater electricity production, which in turn would need more food consumption.

Thus would begin the exponential rise of the human being living solely to satiate their desire for food, purely to keep their chosen supermarket in energy. A new age would dawn where the human- supermarket simbiosis would be complete. And everyone will live happily ever after. Cakes all round!
Jonnyboy

Genius, although the rich would pay someone else to shop for them.
sean

It's like a vision of utopia...
Behemoth

What about all these people who our money into gyms so they can walk on the spot or cycle to no where - surely they could be exploted to power the air con.
cab

Behemoth wrote:
What about all these people who our money into gyms so they can walk on the spot or cycle to no where - surely they could be exploted to power the air con.


Ahh, yes, all the idiots... errm, excercisers who drive to the gym then go on a treadmill, onto a cycle machine and drive home. What they ought to do is get an allotment and a bicycle Wink

Back on to supermarkets, didn't Tescos experiment with trolleys that had more resistance, weren't they meant to be 'excercise trolleys' or something like that?
Brownbear

If Sainsbury's rendered down Jamie Oliver for lamp fat, electricity would be saved, not to mention the forests which would not be pulped to produce his garbage-quality books.

Failing that, you could harness him up to a treadmill generator and hang a tenner on a stick just out of his reach. Such a mighty source ought to power several stores.
dougal

James wrote:
Why don’t Sainsbury’s make their floors out of tiny little sprung tiles which would move up and down under the weight of obese lazy shoppers to power tiny little generators? The energy from all these little motors would power chiller cabinets full of cream cakes and overly-lit shelves stacked high with pop tarts.
The energy exerted by the shoppers would mean that they’d need to eat more cakes and pies, which would result in a greater residence time in the supermarket, and therefore greater electricity production, which in turn would need more food consumption.


Hmmm. Yes, it'd be another application for these things
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6272752.stm
which were originally conceived to scavenge some of the waste energy from vibration...
sean

I think I saw something about shoes with built-in generators which would recharge your mobile phone/ipod/torch. I may have made this up though. Or it might have been a Daedalus suggestion in New Scientist.
JB

Behemoth wrote:
What about all these people who our money into gyms so they can walk on the spot or cycle to no where - surely they could be exploited to power the air con.


If we were to wire up all the tread mills and exercise bikes in all the gyms we could use the generated power to shut down several power stations (or at least we could from January until about sometime in February)
tahir

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6272752.stm
dougal

tahir wrote:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6272752.stm

"Didn't we discuss this a while ago?" (Thursday, a couple of posts up the page!) Very Happy Very Happy
tahir

Aha, not paying attention, again Laughing
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