Road vibrations, airport noise to produce energy?

July 21st, 2011 - 8:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, July 21 (IANS) Researchers are working on methods to convert road vibrations and airport runway noise into usable energy.

University of Buffalo theoretical physicist Surajit Sen and colleagues suggest how altering the shape of grain-to-grain contact areas between the particles underlies this process.

Under “normal” circumstances, when the particles are perfect spheres, exerting force on the first sphere in the chain causes energy to travel through the spheres as a compact bundle of energy between three to five particle diameters wide, at a rate set by Hertz’s Law.

But Sen and his collaborators have discovered that by altering the shape of the surface area of each particle where it presses against the next, it is possible to change how the energy moves, the journal Physical Review E reports.

While this finding is yet to be demonstrated experimentally, Sen said that “mathematically, it’s correct. We have proven it”, according to a Buffalo statement.

“We could have chips that take energy from road vibrations, runway noise from airports — energy that we are not able to make use of very well — and convert it into pulses, packets of electrical energy, that become useful power.”

–Indo-Asian News service
st/mn/tb

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