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The Winds of Travel


Multi-Tasking Taken to a Whole New Green Level

car-lights-on-highway-080814Have you stood near a roadway and been buffeted by the gusts of wind from passing cars, or nearly knocked over by the force of wind from a big rig truck? That is energy gone to waste ….. until now. Mark Oberholzer, a professor of landscape architecture at Rice University in Houston, proposes installing small vertical-axis wind turbines (Darius turbines), inside the concrete highway dividers to generate power. Utilizing the wind energy created by passing traffic.

The concrete barriers used to separate opposite sides of traffic on multi-lane highway systems are known by various names, K-rails, Pennsylvania Separators, and Jersey barriers or Jersey walls. Now, when Oberholzer’s ingenious idea becomes a reality, these barriers will acquire new names – like Energy Walls or K-rails of Power, (or maybe not).color_barrier_t346

“In Houston our landscape is highways,” Oberholzer says of the inspiration for his design. “Opposing streams of traffic create really incredible potential in terms of a guaranteed wind source,”

He proposes that by replacing sections of solid concrete with those housing double-stacked Darius turbines will efficien tly capture the wind from both directions and harvest enough energy to power an adjacent light-rail line or subway. Using the power where it’s generated, rather than redistributing it through the grid, avoids energy losses that occur during transportation and eliminates the cost of adding extra infrastructure.

new_divider_t346Oberholzer said, “I love the idea of siphoning off electricity generated by private transportation to run public transportation.”

This brilliant concept can fall into a number of green categories from sustainable power to energy recycling to the original purpose of human safety. Here in Texas, it would simply be called “killing two birds with one stone.”

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No Responses to “The Winds of Travel”

  1. Barbara Says:

    What a great idea! I love it…I hope it happens for Houston sooner than later! Other cities should follow suit too!

    Barbaras last blog post..Relax With Barbara On Wednesday 41

  2. Linda Says:

    Hi Barbara … Houston is nothing but K-rails on every freeway so it makes sense to do this.

  3. whamx.com Says:

    The Winds of Travel | Forced Green…

    Have you stood near a roadway and been buffeted by the gusts of wind from passing cars, or nearly knocked over by the force of wind from a big rig truck?…

  4. Barbara Swafford Says:

    Hi Linda,

    What an ingenious idea. I love how people come up with ways to utilize that which we already have to make a new resource. Like you said, “it does kill two birds with one stone”. Awesome!

  5. Linda Says:

    Hi Barbara … It is unique and it would be just so easy to implement especially in Houston.

  6. yanjiaren Says:

    Oh my dayz Blad what a fantastic idea man. Sorry I am in my rapping mode, just been talking to my Son rofl. I think it is these ideas that can pull us out of the mess the previous generations got us into. We need this innovation and a new green revolution to help us and this proves that if there is also political will we can steam ahead much quicker. Lovely article Linda.

  7. ConnieFoggles Says:

    What an amazing idea. This needs to put into use all over.

  8. Maureen Says:

    That is a great idea for sure-

  9. Karen Says:

    This is such a great idea: tapping into what is already available.

  10. Bonnie Story Says:

    What a bloody brilliant idea!! Glad to read that – it’s right there, so why not use it? Just when I think that mankind will do itself in, just a few generations down the road, I see something like this that reminds me about the great minds that are out there, and the simple clear thinking that just might get us out of the mess we are in. I suspect that the keys to overhauling our ideas about energy are right under our noses. Thanks for the good post. Bonnie

    Bonnie Storys last blog post..Foxglove is coming!

  11. Barbara Says:

    Wonderful information always found here!

    Barbaras last blog post..Take A “Green” Vacation!

  12. Linda Says:

    Hi yanjiaren … thank you and we ARE making progress.

    Hi connie … I agree but I think they are going to try it in Houston first. Believe me they have the traffice!

    Hi Maureen … Good ideas come from the young uns too!

    Hi Karen … Never hurts to improve what we are already using!

  13. Linda Says:

    Hi Bonnie … You are correct! ONce we the people understand that we have more or less all of the tools now and look at how we can improve them, voila! we get ideas like this! Thank you!

  14. cady Says:

    that’s a neat idea. i definitely have felt like i could be knocked over from the wind from semi-trucks.

    cadys last blog post..Baby Week

  15. Linda Says:

    Hi cady … I think either cars, trucks or semis you can get knocked around with the wind generated.

  16. corrin Says:

    I’m surprised no one thought of it sooner – it’s an abundant source of energy, that’s for sure!

    corrins last blog post..Party Girl

  17. Linda Says:

    Hi corrin … It is amazing that something so simple comes out now. But it is here, implementable and certainly a good use for all over the world.

  18. wilson Says:

    WoW, this is so far the best green energy that I ever seen, Linda! However, it might cost a lot of $$$ to construct it…

    wilsons last blog post..Only Take Coughing Medicine When Necessary!

  19. ladyGrace Says:

    What a fantastic idea!!! Glad to see those uni people are putting their smart minds to work haha

    ladyGraces last blog post..Child Abuse!!??

  20. Linda Says:

    Hi Wilson … It may cost some $$$’s but the benefits are good and the return on investment should be great.

  21. Matts Says:

    It amazing to learn about this great ideas. Surely it’s cost effective and very beneficial as well.

    Mattss last blog post..US Open Golf Championship 2009 Live Free Streaming

  22. Linda Says:

    Hi Matts … Yes and its sustainable as well.

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