Watts on the Road
Keir Martyn
Prince of Wales Secondary
Floor Location : J 095 E

Energy demands are increasing and new, clean supplies of energy are needed. My project aims to capture wasted traffic related kinetic energy and to convert it into electricity. Instead of cars applying their own brakes on steep hills, a series of speed control bumps could maintain constant vehicle velocity. Energy generated from slowing cars could then be converted to electricity. A model to demonstrate speed control bumps, kinetic energy capture, and electricity generation was built. Three hills in Vancouver and North Vancouver (Boundary, Taylor Way, and Upper Levels Highway) were surveyed to determine the amount of wasted kinetic energy that could be attributed to braking. A vehicle was driven down each hill with minimal or no braking. Vehicle speed (in 10 km/hr increments) and time were recorded. Four to five trials were done on each hill. Acceleration (m/s ) was calculated from speed and time data. Acceleration on Boundary hill was 0.58 m/s . Taylor Way was 0.53 m/s . Upper Levels was 0.18 m/s . Braking devices built into the hill could keep vehicles at a constant speed and the resulting kinetic energy could be captured and then converted to electricity. For example, a single vehicle going down Boundary hill could power at least 1000 compact fluorescent light bulbs. If traffic volume on Boundary hill was the same as the known traffic on Second Narrows Bridge captured electricity could power 167,000 light bulbs. Importantly, the source of that electricity would be kinetic energy that is otherwise wasted. The source of the kinetic energy is also already in our environment, in abundance, and no new pollutants wills be added to, or damage done to the environment.