Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Electric Cars Recharging While Driving? Could Happen

"Recharging road could power cars"
stuff.co.nz (May 18, 2009)

"South Korea's top technology university has developed a plan to power electric cars through recharging strips embedded in roadways, using a technology to transfer energy found in some electric toothbrushes.

"The plan, still in the experimental stage, calls for placing power strips about 20 cm to 90 cm wide and perhaps several hundred meters long built into the top of roads.

"Vehicles with sensor-driven magnetic devices on their underside can suck up energy as they travel over the strips without coming into direct contact.

" 'If we place these strips on about 10 percent of roadways in a city, we could power electric vehicles,' said Cho Dong-ho, the manager of the 'online electric vehicle' plan at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology...."

In principle, this is a great idea. In practice, I'm not so sure.

I've read about really cool uses for embedded sensor strips and other technologies in pavement for about four decades: and so far, the practical applications seem limited to sensors near traffic signals; and pavement heaters. Both of which involve only a few square yards of paving.

This power-transfer technology might be practical in the limited urban application that Cho Dong-Ho described.

Either way, it's ingenious - and, I think, worth trying.

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