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California may use rumble of traffic to generate energy

September 27, 2011 |  8:07 am

Traffic on the 5 Freeway

California could take the rumble of the road to create energy.

A bill by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake), one of many Gov. Jerry Brown is wading through in the wake of the legislative recess, would require the California Energy Commission to explore the possibility of generating green electricity from passing cars, trucks and trains.

The legislation centers on what’s called piezoelectric technology, where censors are placed under a roadway and the vibrations produced by vehicles are converted into electricity. Gatto said this technology is being used in other countries.

A Japanese railway company installed sensors under the floor in its Tokyo train station and uses the energy generated by pedestrians to power all of the displays in the station, according to 818 Now. There are also sensors under some highways in Israel.

"This technology is very real, and it merits study,” Gatto said.


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--Mark Kellam, Times Community News

Photo: Traffic on the 5 Freeway. Credit: Times Community News