Piezoelectric wheels

December 27, 2008

I’ve been hearing about the Tokyo sub installing piezoelectric pads in their turnstiles to generate electricity from travelers’ steps.

Now an Israeli company is testing roads that gather electricity from cars passing by.

Why not on car wheels?  I’ve been thinking about this for a while.  I don’t know how much can be obtained, but if it can supplement even 30% of the car’s needs that would really improve range for an electric vehicle.

I suppose you’d need piezoelectric tiles on the inside of the tire, around a large-diameter axle.  As one goes under the weight it generates a positive charge.  At the same time pressure is released from another tile, which generates a negative charge.

Sounds simple, i’m sure there’s a gotcha there I’m not seeing.  Any EE out there would care to explain my folly?

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