xoxoxoBruce Tuesday Jun 16 12:50 AM
June 16, 2009: Kinetic Plates
Sainsbury's stores in the U.K., looking to cut costs, have built new stores with kinetic plates in the parking lot.
AdamTheMechE Tuesday Jun 16 02:35 AM
This is NOT Green Energy
This is the opposite of green energy. Any energy collected from cars is only as green as the energy used to drive those cars, minus efficiency losses in the plate system. A car's engine is already much less efficient than any source of the electricity through the land line, and adding in another system reduces overall efficiency in a very non-green way.
Eclipse Tuesday Jun 16 03:50 AM
I don't agree
Instead of powering the checkouts from a city generator, it's using the energy from the cars passing by. The compressions from the weight of the car shouldn't be very great, so driving across the plate should not sap any more energy than driving over uneven asphalt -- the same energy lost through everyday regular driving. Instead of losing that bit of energy to earth, some of that energy goes to drive a generator.
It may be true that now car drivers are paying for the energy to power the checkouts, but note that it's not one driver powering them. Tens, if not hundreds, of cars pass over the plates to refuel a day, so that each individual driver probably loses a few dollars of gas energy a year to compressing the plates with the weight of their cars. The loss is almost nil, and cars lose more energy driving over bumpy roads than a flat plate anyway.
This system recycles energy that would otherwise be lost, and is "Greener" in the sense that it uses that energy rather than energy from a municipal power plant.
ZenGum Tuesday Jun 16 03:51 AM
It depends on whether that is a point cars were going to have to brake anyway. If it is used as a slowing device in place of speed humps, then it is grabbing energy that would otherwise be wasted, and so counts as green. If it is anywhere else, it isn't.
SPUCK Tuesday Jun 16 06:00 AM
DanaC Tuesday Jun 16 07:02 AM
Oh I completely agree with this. Totally cheeky lol.
Nice to meetcha Adam, welcome to The cellar
spudcon Tuesday Jun 16 07:34 AM
I suppose it's much greener for the gubermint to raise taxes on gas that costs each driver thousands each year. Now that's greed...er, green.
capnhowdy Tuesday Jun 16 08:17 AM
I'm glad they are at least making an effort to produce additional energy. Too many people are scratching their heads and ridiculing everybody else's attempts instead of getting off their ass and trying to come up with a solution themselves.
todd_brannigan Tuesday Jun 16 08:31 AM
I like how these articles never mention the power required to design, prototype, produce, transport, install, maintain, repair, decommission, & dispose of these energy recovery systems - it's vastly more than they will ever "recover".
sweetwater Tuesday Jun 16 08:42 AM
So let the cars run over a plate & collect a coupon for the store at the other side and keep everybody happy. Seriously, innovative technologies seem always to be ridiculous and inefficient to start. As an experiment that will be monitored and tweaked, I think this could be great. Next they should try out my idea of installing zillions of pinwheels between lanes on highways to collect the wind energy produced by passing vehicles. Hey, someday it will all seem normal.
sullage Tuesday Jun 16 08:56 AM
i defend this practice. "green" is too nebulous, but i believe it is worthwhile.
ajaccio Tuesday Jun 16 09:37 AM
And for those folks who bemoan the wear and tear of driving onto and off of one of those plates, in my neck 'o the woods, a plate like this would be an improvement in most parking lots! It would actually give me x number of smooth feet to drive across. :p
Welcome to the Cellar, Adam!
Sundae Tuesday Jun 16 09:53 AM
My Sainsbury's in Greenwich had solar panels and three wind turbines. I've no idea whether they did anything useful, but seeing them there made me at least think they are trying.
DanaC Tuesday Jun 16 09:55 AM
Umm...I use disposable shoppng bags...but then again I reuse them ...as bin liners and as a place to store paperwork
Sundae Tuesday Jun 16 09:56 AM
I use a shopping trolley.
ZenGum Tuesday Jun 16 10:00 AM
Say, is there any place in the world where the shopping trolleys get the minimal regular maintenance that they need?
Degrees Tuesday Jun 16 10:02 AM
I'm not sure that electricity is all that green. A lot of electricity energy is lost as heat during transmission through the land line. Sure, an automobile engine may only get 30% conversion of fuel to motion, but fuel burning electrical plants have the same problem. Somewhat higher efficiency - but nowhere near 60%. And gasoline doesn't lose energy as it sloshes around in the tank. Electricity loses power every meter it moves.
Diaphone Jim Tuesday Jun 16 11:55 AM
It is amazing how much comment, and how quickly, some threads generate.
spudcon Tuesday Jun 16 03:29 PM
lumberjim Tuesday Jun 16 04:39 PM
Install them in basketball courts across the country!
stanford93 Tuesday Jun 16 05:04 PM
I would have to disagree
"What this system does do is rob customers of (granted, minute amounts of) fuel energy, so the overall cost of this system considering everybody involved is greater than before."
classicman Tuesday Jun 16 05:05 PM
WOW! new cellar lurker record! 2 posts on almost 4 years... outstanding.
Elspode Tuesday Jun 16 11:04 PM
The poster has a serious economy of words.
capnhowdy Tuesday Jun 16 11:06 PM
Put one in front of the toilet and buy a keg of beer. C U LTR, power co.!
Tree Fae Tuesday Jun 16 11:30 PM
One thing noone noted was the fact that they are in the stores parking lot. They are taking energy from their own property after all. This seems a lot more resonable than the 10.00 parking fees we pay for concerts, football games, etc. Sounded like a good deal to me
Beest Wednesday Jun 17 12:51 AM
If they are placed say at the entrances where there would be a speed bump ( sleeping policeman ) to reduce speed as you enter the car park, then it could be an efficient and green redistribution of energy, damn I'm going to have to RTFA now
toranokaze Wednesday Jun 17 01:22 AM
Where this is truly green will depend on, thus, the amount of extra fuel that is necessary to move the cars over the bumps verises the amount of coal spent to produce the same amount of energy.
SPUCK Wednesday Jun 17 05:30 AM
glatt Wednesday Jun 17 08:43 AM
We have speed bumps all around my neighborhood. It would be awesome to put these things in instead. (Assuming the snowplows don't destroy them.) In fact, I'd like to put one in front of my house and plug it in to our electrical system (on our side of the meter.) Slow the damn cars down as they speed by, and power my house at the same time.
Silazius Wednesday Jun 17 10:14 AM
My car is green (mint green, actually) does that count?
DanaC Wednesday Jun 17 10:37 AM
I vote yes!
spudcon Wednesday Jun 17 10:50 AM
My neighbor's got green teeth. does that count?
DanaC Wednesday Jun 17 11:02 AM
dar512 Wednesday Jun 17 11:20 AM
It is obvious that the car does not take off.
classicman Wednesday Jun 17 11:54 AM
but what if it was on a treadmill? huh? huh? smartypants????
dar512 Wednesday Jun 17 01:51 PM
In that case it would not take off.
DanaC Wednesday Jun 17 02:05 PM
You insensitive bastard Dar! My dog was killed taking off from a treadmill on 9/11
dar512 Wednesday Jun 17 02:29 PM
You are mistaken, Dana. That dog was actually a dolphin.
Gravdigr Wednesday Jun 17 05:31 PM
The cars are coming & going anyway, plate or no plate. It's free energy once it's paid for. "The car has to drive up the plate..." Has anyone ever driven 'up' a speed bump? Of course not, you slow down and coast over them, same as with the plate. I say free energy. So there.
Gravdigr Wednesday Jun 17 05:32 PM
dar512 Wednesday Jun 17 05:48 PM
Snopes says otherwise.
spudcon Wednesday Jun 17 11:06 PM
dar512 Wednesday Jun 17 11:15 PM
Shawnee123 Thursday Jun 18 07:08 AM
I was going to say grrrr, because you got me too. However, I didn't want to tip your hand.
ZenGum Thursday Jun 18 07:30 AM
I got ya kinetic plates, right here.
classicman Thursday Jun 18 09:01 AM
dar512 Thursday Jun 18 10:43 AM
Oh, you mean "this time".
classicman Thursday Jun 18 11:16 AM
Yes, that was VERY specific statement. :adjusts halo:
Gravdigr Thursday Jun 18 12:13 PM