As mentioned earlier, I wanted to put a couple of ideas out there regarding alternative power generation.

I’ve lately become very interested in all things piezoelectric. Do you have a long necked lighter that you use to light your gas grill. Is there one built in? Chances are, it uses a piezoelectric element. When you push the button, or pull the trigger, the pressure you apply ultimately compresses either a quartz or ceramic element, which in turn generates the charge. And let me tell you, for such a small device, it really puts out a good zap. Good enough to make a grown man talk.

What would prevent one from using similar technology in a road substrate? Either as embedded elements or cells, or mixed in to the very fabric of the roadway?

Please excuse the drawing below, but this might give you a better idea of what I am envisioning.

pz-highway 

The second recent idea is a very simple device that uses the varying tension created by guy lines connecting trees. It would take the tension, and use it to turn a small DC generator contained within the box. I would think some type of geared arrangement would ensure that all the varying tension force would spin the generator axle in one direction.

swaying-tree-generator

One of the tendencies I see in the alternative energy market is the entrenchment of wind turbines, photovoltaics, focused solar energy, and the like, as the only alternatives. This may in large part have to do with the relative efficiencies of such approaches, but I also suspect big oil is lining us up for them, and they would miraculously have the lions share of the market in them.

But we need to think about not only these options, but quite frankly, any options that when used collectively add up to a significant energy output.

So put your thinking caps on. After all, who knows where the wind blows?

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