A New Aspect of Roadways (Source: Roads & Bridges)
By Hossein Roshani and Mohammadreza Gholikani
Sustainable development and roadway infrastructure are essential elements of future life quality. Powering and monitoring this infrastructure in a sustainable fashion are challenging problems that have been the subject of a considerable amount recent research. Roadway pavements are continuously exposed to various types of energy, such as traffic-induced strains and stresses generated by vehicles, solar radiation and heat.
Harnessing these forms of energy and converting them to a usable format can be potentially used for energy harvesting purposes. Energy harvesting, or energy scavenging, is a process that captures unused ambient energy that would otherwise be lost as heat, light, sound, vibration, stress, or movement. Energy harvesting from roadways has the potential to generate electricity for a roadside data collection, communication applications, and safety equipment. Roadside energy harvesters are broadly grouped into three categories based on the energy source tapped: mechanical energy from vehicles, pavement heat, and solar radiation. In terms of harvesting technology, harvesters are grouped into electromagnetic, piezoelectric, thermoelectric, pyroelectric, photovoltaic, and solar heat collectors involving liquid or air circulation.
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