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4.14 - PAVENERGY - Pavement Energy Harvest Solutions

Project Description

Portugal aims to be among the top 5 European renewable energy producers by 2020 (MEID, 2010). According to the National Energy Strategy - ENE 2020 (DR, 2010), Portugal has set itself the target, as part of its European commitments, to ensure that 31% of all energy consumption by the year 2020 will come from renewable sources. The national plan for energy regards diversification of the spectrum of renewable energies as key. Not only is Portugal using tried and tested technologies which will make an immediate contribution to the power generation system, but it is also investing in research and development for new technologies which are still in the testing/demonstration stage and show potential for improving the national economy.

Looking forward to 2020, the investment in electric vehicles aims to replace around 10% of the fuel currently consumed in the road transport sector with electricity, which will mean a reduction of approximately 5 million imported barrels of oil, as the electricity used to substitute these fossil fuels in 2020 will be mainly from renewable sources. These figures will become even more marked in the future when the mechanism for recharging vehicles is complemented by a mechanism which enables vehicles to inject energy accumulated in their batteries during overnight charging into the grid. We also expect to have intelligent electrical grids which will be a fundamental part of the success of electric cars and their energy efficiency, as they will allow us to monitor, control and manage integrated production, distribution, storage and consumption of energy, from a range of agents and do it more efficiently. It is these intelligent grids that will allow the injection of energy produced by other innovative technologies into the grid, such as the energy produced in this research project from the movement of vehicles on road pavement.

The overall aim of this project is to develop and implement an electromechanical or piezoelectric system inserted into the pavement to produce energy by the movement of vehicles. This energy will be used not only to charge batteries for electric vehicles, but will also be for general consumption via injection into the electricity grid or direct use in electrical equipment, such as traffic lights, public lighting, outdoor advertising, etc.

To achieve that aim, it is necessary to carry out the following tasks:
1) Evaluation of the state-of-the-art in terms of pavement energy harvest solutions;
2) Development of a software tool for simulating the interaction between vehicles and energy harvest systems;
3) Development/improvement of a pavement electrical energy harvest system;
4) Implementation of a full-scale pavement section with the electrical energy harvest system;
5) Execution of monitored tests using real traffic or a traffic simulator;
6) Application of the pavement electrical energy harvest system in a speed control hump of a municipal road;
7) Dissemination of the results of the research Project.

A system of electrical energy produced by the movement of the huge number of vehicles on our roads will enable us to produce a large amount of energy, reduce the consumption of fossil fuels and thus improve the quality of the environment.

Research Team

Adelino Ferreira (coordinator)

Financial Support

Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (PTDC/ECM-TRA/3423/2014)

Stage of Progress

Started 1st June, 2016
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