Innowattech has broadened their energy harvesting designs to harvest energy from railways as well as roads (see Energy harvesting roads in Israel). The company has performed a project with the National Railway Company of Israel. The project's purpose was to examine the new development based on Innowattech's technology- Innowattech's rail pad - IPEG PAD. The solution is related to the smart rail field.
During the project, 32 existing railway pads were replaced with Innowattech's energy harvesting pads. The IPEG PAD solution, in its basic form, is a generator designed to generate electricity for local solutions. The implementation of such solution is very fast and simple. Innowattech's pads are manufactured with the same external geometry of the original pads, but are embedded with piezoelectric elements that harvest mechanical strain and convert it to electrical power.
As the pads contain piezoelectric disks, which can transform mechanical stresses into electrical output (voltage), Innowattech say they can determine the number of wheels, weight of each wheel, the wheel's capitation and wheel perimeter position using these pads. In addition the speed of the train and the wheel diameter can be concluded, and the energy is self supplied by the system.
Preliminary results last year with Technion University and Israel Railways suggest that areas of railway track that get between 10 and 20 ten-car trains an hour, can produce 120 kwh per hour. This is electricity that could be used on the railway itself, or to power the signaling, measure the speed and weight of trains, as well as to transfer it to the grid.
Images and credit: Innowattech Energy Harvesting Systems
For more read : Energy Harvesting and Storage for Electronic Devices 2010-2020