Reyes Engineering Explores Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting
Reyes Engineering is always looking for new and innovative ways to produce renewable energy. One such design involves piezoelectric energy harvesting. Piezoelectric material, often crystal, is a material that creates electricity when a change in its shape occurs. Often called “Sidewalk Power Generator,” piezoelectricity occurs through vibration or mechanical means of applying deflection which produces an electric change and can then be stored and used as a power source. Piezoelectric materials has been applied on dance floors to power lights in the building. In Tokyo, another application involves a subway system which currently has around 270 sq. ft. of piezoelectric flooring, producing around 1400 kilowatts of electricity per second, enough to power the system’s ticket gates and electric lights. The best uses of piezoelectric materials, however, may be in high traffic areas, such as roads and highways. Though it has only been tested on small scale, designers say that a typical four lane highway could produce over 2 Megawatts of power for every mile. While contractors were not able to implement piezoelectric energy harvesting into a project yet, Reyes engineering still seeks and encourages opportunities to use cutting-edge technology and innovative designs which promote sustainability, such as piezoelectric energy harvesting.