Railroad Energy Harvester Brings to Surface the Concept of Smart Railway
While Smart Highway has to wait for a little long while before initial construction begins, the Railroad Energy Harvester is ready to make a concept of self-powered railway into fruition. A few days ago, researchers from Stony Brook University proudly announced such a device. And based on what we could get from the announcement, it may eventually revolutionize the way we supply power to railroads, especially those situated in remote area.
In a nutshell, the Railroad Energy Harvester works by storing the electromagnetic energy which emerges as a result of the vibrations made by the thundering steel wheel of the locomotive against the rail track. Such energy is not of great significance indeed but given that United States has the longest railroad in the world, the researchers believe it can harvest enough electromagnetic energy to empower several local railway applications. Some of the most possible things that can be covered are electrifying the signal lights and switching the train track
You may wonder why such simple yet helpful concept has just made it today. It’s not like the country does not have any highly intelligent engineers. Rather, harvesting electromagnetic energy from endless stretches of railroad is not a very easy task to accomplish. This is because the nature of the energy which is extremely irregular and moves in disoriented direction.
Still, Professor Lei Zuo and his colleagues managed to figure out the solution and so this Railroad Energy Harvester was born. The amount of energy that can be harvested from induced track is claimed to be 200 watts. And thanks to that achievement, the device has been awarded as Best Application of Energy Harvesting in a particular occasion in New York.