TRANSPORTATION IDEAS THAT WON’T WORK (BECAUSE OF SCIENCE): PART 3

I’ll keep this one short.

A company named Innowattech (innovation + watt + tech.  Get it?) wants to put piezoelectric pads under railways to harvest electric energy from passing trains.  Trains roll over the pad, the pads compress, electricity happens, and eco-conscious morons the world over collectively cream their pants because we’ve MAGICALLY GOTTEN ENERGY WHENCE THERE ONCE WAS NONE.

This is the last time I’m going to write about some misguided idiot’s attempts to harvest kinetic energy from a moving vehicle.  In future, they’ll just go on the Facebook page.  So for the last time:

The electric energy you get out of these comes from the kinetic energy of a large train, which is powered by the electric energy of enormous diesel generators, which comes from the heat energy of combustion, which comes from releasing the chemical energy of the fuel, which is released by

burning diesel.

All you’re doing is burning diesel to generate energy, which is 1) not very clean and 2) something trains are already really good at.  Trains roll on steel wheels on steel tracks, giving them a rolling resistance about a seventh of that of a truck.

Trains are one of the most efficient ways in the world to move a lot of very heavy stuff a long way.  An average train can move a literal ton of freight almost 500 miles on a gallon of fuel, and they’ve gotten 104 percent MORE efficient since 1980.  This invention can only make them worse.

Stop fucking with them.

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One thought on “TRANSPORTATION IDEAS THAT WON’T WORK (BECAUSE OF SCIENCE): PART 3

  1. waterman says:

    unlike your other two posts on collecting energy that will not work you are incorrect in this case. The energy that would be gathered is already wasted energy. The rails deflect when a train engine or rail car truck in on them and rebound when the truck has passed (kinetic energy). This energy is dissipated into the environment in the form of heat (kinetic energy). Piezoelectric pads would gather this energy which is already wasted without impacting the amount of energy the train uses. Now I have not done the calculations on the amount of energy that could be collected here but considering the miniscule amount of electricity generated by a piezoelectric chip I do not believe it would be any where near even break even once costs of production and installation of the chips, not to mention the infrastructure to connect to the grid.

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