Force Multiplier Actuated Piezoelectric Energy Harvester for Roadway Energy Recovery

Demonstrating a system that can harvest energy from vehicles on California roadways.

Pyro-E, LLC


Los Angeles, CA

Recipient Location


Senate District


Assembly District



Amount Spent



Project Status

Projects Updates/The Results

The project team completed basic design for the vibrational energy harvester, with a goal to maximize life under repeated impact and compression cycles from a vehicle. A batch of flexors, for converting vertical compression into horizontal extension, was fabricated and calibrated with force transducers and strain instruments to ensure proper specifications. A uniform subscale piezo-ceramic stack prototype was fabricated and assembled to prevent stress concentrations under buckling loads. Preliminary field testing at subscale was performed to collect data for power and energy. Work has started for permitting with the City of San Jose.

The Issue

Roadways are locations of tremendous energy consumption and transformation, but also hold potential to generate energy. One approach for making existing roadways more energy sustainable is through regenerative energy devices such as piezoelectric devices that have the ability to harvest energy from deflection, vibrations, and applied mechanical stresses from overpassing vehicles.

Project Innovation

The project develops, designs, and installs a multitude of pavement-embedded devices to demonstrate energy harvesting from overpassing motor vehicles on the road in smart pavement covering 36 feet x 6 feet. The system consists of materials that exhibit the piezoelectric effect, generating an electric charge.

Project Benefits

The project demonstrates and assesses the potential of regenerative pavement technology, a roadway-embedded energy harvester that uses the untapped energy of car movements. The hardware devices developed using smart materials harvest energy from pavement deflections and vibrations under normal driving conditions. Energy performance data is collected to determine the technology's potential for widescale adoption in roadways and other surfaces.

Economic Development

Economic Development

This project is expected to displace a fraction of grid electricity with reduced rates. Retrofitting 1% of useable roadways (about 10% of total California roads) could service about 70,000 homes during peak traffic hours and abou

Environmental & Public Health

Environmental & Public Health

By retrofitting 1% of useable roadways with piezoelectric devices, the environmental benefits will be significant, with the potential of reducing about 210 kilotons of CO2 emissions and displacing 250 million gallons of fresh wat

Key Project Members

Project Member

Kevin Lu


Match Partners


Pyro-E, LLC

Contact the Team