Wednesday 9th September 2009
Be Wiser Insurance

Speed Bumps are Eco Friendly

Speed bumps, or sleeping policemen as they’re often known, have been the bane of many motorists’ lives, but thanks to advances in energy technology they can now help the environment.

The new eco-bumps are capable of collecting the kinetic energy generated when cars travel over them, powering streets lights, traffic lights and road signs.

The scheme is currently being run in London only, but officials would like the scheme rolled out nationwide.

The speed bumps aren’t like conventional ones currently in use; they do not damage your car or waste petrol when you drive over them – and they have the added benefit of generating energy free of charge.

The ramps cost between £20,000 and £55,000 depending on size, and consist of a series of intricate panels set in a pad flush to the road. As the traffic heads over them, the panels go up and down, setting a mechanism in motion under the road, which turns a motor producing energy. If the ramp experiences a steady stream of traffic passing over it then it can generate between 10 and 36KW of power.

In monetary terms, each bump can produce between £1 and £3.60 of energy per hour for up to 16 hours a day, which works out at £5,840 and £21,024 a year. Any energy not used immediately can be stored and fed directly into the national grid.

The implications of such technology are vast, for example, a club in Rotterdam last year managed to run partly on energy generated by people dancing. It is claimed that an entire shopping centre’s lighting could be powered by pedestrian’s footsteps.

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