Cities Extract Energy from Everyday Activities

That’s the idea in Roanoke, Va., where the city recently tested a roadway “rumble strip” that generates electricity when vehicles drive over it. The device — a portable speed bump that’s laid on the roadway surface — was placed at the Roanoke Civic Center on a busy Saturday in October. About 600 vehicles traveled over the strip, actuating a series of small hinged plates that produce power through a technique similar to regenerative braking used by electric and hybrid vehicles. Over the six-hour test, the strip produced enough electricity to power an average home for a day, according to its manufacturer, Maryland-based New Energy Technologies.