Ultra-compact, Road-mounted Energy Harvesting System

Votes: 2
Views: 2438

Energy Intelligence is developing an alternative energy solution that generates electricity in places with a high density of vehicle traffic, such as toll plazas, parking garages, bus stations, and border crossings. The potential value of energy that could be generated at these sites worldwide exceeds $10B annually, yet no system exists that is inexpensive, mechanically simple, and powerful enough to take advantage of this opportunity. Renewable energy sources like wind and solar can not be used because of space constraints and because the economics do not make sense. Newer road-based ideas using piezoelectric materials or intricate mechanical designs produce too little power and are too complicated to install.

The Energy Intelligence system will be installed at a range of checkpoints and slowdown zones to put the wasted kinetic energy of braking vehicles to work, powering lighting and other electrical systems nearby. The system consists of two parts: a thin rubber roadway mat and a generator. As vehicles drive over the mat, their weight and momentum pinches embedded hydraulic channels and pushes pressurized fluid toward the central generation and control components. A custom sealed rubber housing integrates hydraulic and structural elements into one molded design. Embedded systems and smart controls enable real-time monitoring of energy production and traffic flows via web dashboards. We are working with manufacturing partners to produce the molded rubber mat and embedded electronics. Together these pieces cost-effectively turn the motion of vehicles into clean, usable electricity and generate insightful data.

This patented technology presents a modular, novel design that is easy to deploy and offers quick payback. It fits seamlessly into the footprint and existing operations of our target facilities. We have built a strong team with experience in product design, mechanical and electrical engineering, and manufacturing. Initial testing of this system has been successfully completed, and we are already working towards scaling production with manufacturing partners.

Each year, the Michigan-Goodrich parking garage in Buffalo, NY spends $150k on electricity. The Peace Bridge at the Canada/US border spends $750k, and the terminal at the Port of Long Beach in NY spends nearly $3M. Sites like these are highly motivated to address these high operating costs. Each Energy Intelligence system can generate between 250W and 2kW, depending on site conditions, and can power a range of equipment and devices onsite (such as heaters and LED lights) to reduce energy consumption and electricity expenses. A typical installation, comprising up to 100 systems connected in series, drastically reduces the facility’s energy demand by 10-50%.

This innovation fundamentally shifts the industry, providing clean energy benefits and clear cost savings to the market where no commercial alternatives exist. Our marketing message of cost-effective alternative energy and real savings has resonated with the industry, and we have received signed letters of interest from National Grid, Siemens, the Peace Bridge Authority, LAZ Parking, Logan International Airport, the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, and other potential customers and partners. Energy Intelligence is proud to harvest this wasted energy to sustainably power the future.


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  • Name:
    Daniel Shani
  • Type of entry:
  • Number of times previously entering contest:
  • Daniel's favorite design and analysis tools:
    CAD, excel, a paper and pen
  • Daniel's hobbies and activities:
    Building furniture with reclaimed wood
  • Daniel is inspired by:
    Practical, efficient solutions that make better use of the resources around us everyday.
  • Software used for this entry:
  • Patent status: