Thursday, December 18, 2008

Israel paves the way for electricity-generating roads

Israel has long has the reputation for being a leader in the world of medical and technological advancements and the newest development to come out of Israel proves that the tiny country deserves that designation.

Next month, Israeli engineers based at the Technion Institute in Haifa, led by scientist Haim Abramovich, will begin testing a small stretch of road that is capable of producing electricity.

Underneath the asphalt of the one-kilometre stretch of road in northern Israel, is a layer of piezoelectric crystals that generate electricity when pressure is applied to them.

When a car drives over the road, the road can can capture the energy transfered by the vehicle into the ground.

The scientists claim that the small stretch of road can produce enough energy to power eight small cars. I'm not sure how many cars have to drive on this road to generate that kind of energy, but the concept is still really cool and encouraging, from an environmentalist standpoint.

A spokesperson for the Environmental Transport Association (ETA) said: “Many predict a massive shift to electric cars, and it may be the roads themselves that help provide some of the power needed.”

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