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   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.
Cars driving over these plates cause them to deflect, and the deflection is transfered to electric generators
which produce an expected average of 30kW of energy an hour. That's enough power to run all the check outs.



It all helps and they expect a 2 year payback.


link

link



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.

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. Granted, the shop saves money after 2 years, which is sneaky, but not nearly as sneaky as touting this as a green improvement.



Eclipse  Tuesday Jun 16 03:50 AM

I don't agree

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamTheMechE View Post
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.

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. Granted, the shop saves money after 2 years, which is sneaky, but not nearly as sneaky as touting this as a green improvement.
There's no doubt cars are anything but green, but these plates are simply collecting energy that would otherwise be lost anyway. It's the same concept as the backpack that charges your mp3 player or laptop from the bouncing of your motions.

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.

I'm more about the 30kW. Thirty kilowatts? (what the hell is a gigawatt?) From cars rocking a metal plate? That is enough to run several houses. They must be expecting a whole lot of cars.



SPUCK  Tuesday Jun 16 06:00 AM

Welcome AdamTheMechE.

I totally agree. It is ripping off the drivers. There is no free energy. If those plates deflect then the cars have to drive up off of them. I have a really hard time believing 30kW anyway. That's like a 40HP engine running all the time.



DanaC  Tuesday Jun 16 07:02 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamTheMechE View Post
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.

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. Granted, the shop saves money after 2 years, which is sneaky, but not nearly as sneaky as touting this as a green improvement.

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.
I think it's a good idea.



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.
Some day.



sullage  Tuesday Jun 16 08:56 AM

i defend this practice. "green" is too nebulous, but i believe it is worthwhile.
this is the consumer face of innovation; a visible, profitable design. perhaps this isn't the best work, it might be stealing energy from the cars, or contributing to the false impression that driving can be healthy, but it demonstrates the technology and feeds money back to research.
would you like to see houses with exterior walls that power the lights? what about lumbar support in your computer chair that powers your computer? you'll get these things and many more if the technology is popular and profitable.
"the better is the enemy of the good." --voltaire

ps. welcome, adam.



ajaccio  Tuesday Jun 16 09:37 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamTheMechE View Post
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....
Green? I see no claims that this is "green". Just recycling and I'm all for that.

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.

Used to make me even more mad when the person in front of me at the checkout loaded up a trolley full of shopping into disposable carrier bags...



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.
Yes, I have a granny shopper and I'm proud of it.
Dad likes it because when I go to Tesco they give me 5 green points on his Clubcard. Mingy old Sainsbury's only count it as one point on my Nectar Card.



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?
Everywhere I go, the trolleys all have wheels which have come loose and could be tightened with a wrench in seconds, but instead are left to rattle and wear into an early grave.
In the name of the FSM, is there any shop in the world not too dumb to maintain their own infrastructure? Anyone???



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.
It is obvious that stores need to install "kinetic plates" in the aisles to capture the energy from all those shopping trolleys.



spudcon  Tuesday Jun 16 03:29 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diaphone Jim View Post
It is amazing how much comment, and how quickly, some threads generate.
It is obvious that stores need to install "kinetic plates" in the aisles to capture the energy from all those shopping trolleys.
Great idea! The fatter the shoppers, the more electricity generated, and calories burned. Everybody wins!


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."

um, that is more than a reach. it's using kinetic energy that would otherwise be lost completely when the vehicle braked and came to a stop. it was going to be dissipated/wasted regardless as 99.99% of the vehicles out there aren't going to have regenerative braking systems. if it was placed in the middle of a street where you wouldn't normally be decelerating, different story.



classicman  Tuesday Jun 16 05:05 PM

WOW! new cellar lurker record! 2 posts on almost 4 years... outstanding.

Good points too.



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

Quote:
Originally Posted by stanford93 View Post
"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."

um, that is more than a reach. it's using kinetic energy that would otherwise be lost completely when the vehicle braked and came to a stop. it was going to be dissipated/wasted regardless as 99.99% of the vehicles out there aren't going to have regenerative braking systems. if it was placed in the middle of a street where you wouldn't normally be decelerating, different story.
Only if the plates performed a braking function, if they are just in the lane so you drive over them then they are taking the kinetic energy of your vehicle, which if you just speed up again caused you to burn more fuel to replace it.

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.

Regardless, this is capturing energy and innovative which should be applauded . It is this kind of thinking that will propels us to green power.

Finally from what I have seen in the diagrams I buy that they could produce 30kw/hr at peak efficacy



SPUCK  Wednesday Jun 17 05:30 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Degrees View Post
Somewhat higher efficiency - but nowhere near 60%.
Um, yes, actually they do get better than 60%.


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

No.



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.




With childhood immunizations.



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

Quote:
Originally Posted by dar512 View Post
You are mistaken, Dana. That dog was actually a dolphin.
No, it was 'shopped.


dar512  Wednesday Jun 17 05:48 PM

Snopes says otherwise.



spudcon  Wednesday Jun 17 11:06 PM

GRRRR, Dar!



dar512  Wednesday Jun 17 11:15 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by spudcon View Post
GRRRR, Dar!
I had to spud. It was classic.


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.
Attachment 23881



classicman  Thursday Jun 18 09:01 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dar512 View Post
I had to spud. It was classic.
I am innocent!


dar512  Thursday Jun 18 10:43 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by classicman View Post
I am innocent!
I doubt that.


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

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenGum View Post
I got ya kinetic plates, right here.
Attachment 23881
At first, I thought they were dancing along with the RickRoll...


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