Ultra-High Power Density Roadway Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting System
Designing a piezoelectric roadway energy harvesting system to capture energy from passing vehicles.
The project has completed design and fabrication of a batch of multi-layer piezoelectric generators, and has conducted laboratory evaluation of the prototype. The prototype design was revised and improved, resulting in a promising relationship between the loading and displacement of the piezoelectric unit. An order to purchase 200 piezoelectric generator towers was issued and the project team has fabricated mechanical parts for 100 piezoelectric generators. The project team is working to finalize the final report.
This project leverages a multidisciplinary system approach to investigate the energy recovery potential of dual-mode piezoelectric generators to create roadway piezoelectric energy harvesting systems with ultra-high power density and efficiency. The goal is to design and test a piezoelectric roadway energy harvesting system, consisting of multi-layer stack generators and power electronics, to capture over 50% of the compression mechanical energy as electricity from passing vehicles. This project will demonstrate electric power generation, in the laboratory and on a 95 feet x 12 feet section of a road at the UC Merced campus, and will determine feasibility for future large-scale demonstrations on highways and streets with piezoelectric under-pavement.
At commercial scale, electric power density and cost are estimated to be 333 Watts per square foot and $9,010/kW respectively. The levelized cost of electricity is estimated to be less than $0.20/kWh.
This project will reduce approximately 40 metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent. By retrofitting 1 percent of useable roadways, the environmental benefits could include reduction of CO2 emissions by more than 100 kilotons per year.