The Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department of the University of Illinois at Chicago has entered into an agreement with New Energy Innovations, Inc. (NEI), to optimize New Energy Innovations’ TPRES (Traffic Powered Renewable Energy System), a new traffic-powered source of electricity that can be deployed at intersections, municipalities, airport entrances, toll booths, as well as entrance and exit ramps.
|Traffic Powered Renewable Energy System (TPRES), powered by vehicles driving over cylinder shown. Click to enlarge.|
The concept entails the embedding of a series of air pumps in the road. Each time a car passes over them, all of them depress at once and forcing a spurt of air through a series of tubes. The air continues through the tubes and into a holding tank where it’s compressed and then released as a constant stream of air into an air motor/turbine which turns the fan belt on the generator/alternator and produces electricity. Since the cylinders are pumping air, the resistance of the device to the vehicle running over it is minimal, NEI says.
The University of Illinois at Chicago Senior Mechanical Engineering and Design Team will be working on optimizing the best mechanical system.
New Energy Innovations is a privately held corporation. Crowd funding efforts begin this spring with the intent to be manufacturing the TPRES for installation by summer at Classic Sheet Metal, Inc., a sheet metal fabrication and assembly company in Franklin Park, IL. Agreements are in place with WT Engineering in Hoffman Estates, IL to provide additional civil engineering expertise and surveys needed for installations to take place.