Engineering students at the Sri Venkateshwara College of Engineering (SVCE) are working on a way to harness wind energy from vehicles speeding down a road.

Prashanth D, Prathik S, Sampath Kumar B and Rahul B at SVCE are hoping to make use of a long stretch of road to generate wind energy. The source of wind energy is a bit unconventional, as it aims to harness the wind energy created by vehicles speeding down the road between Bengaluru City and a nearby airport, about 35 kilometers (22 Miles).

The SVCE team is looking to introduce small vertical wind turbines, similar to a street-lamp, onto road dividers on the highway. Both wind turbulence and cars speeding by will turn the wind turbines and generate energy.

“The system works by converting kinetic energy from wind into electrical power. The turbines are designed to rotate even at low wind speeds, say, 1.5 meters per second. But that’s one part of the operation. Since the highway is meant for high-speed vehicles, their turbulence is much more and that’s what we are trying to tap.”

The turbine can be detached and carried around quite easily, so they can be move from area to area.

“There are a lot of high-rise buildings in the city. The turbines can be kept on terraces or balconies to generate and store power for domestic use as well,” says the SVCE team. “In the near future, electric cars would be widely in use. We could use this energy for battery charging, for example. It is also possible to set up battery-charging stations.”

The team hopes their little roadside turbines will generate up to 45 volts of electricity, which could partly power traffic and street lights. Generated electricity could be stored in batteries for later use. Power generation would depend on the scale of the project. If the Indian government wanted to deploy the concept wind turbines to a greater number of spaces around the city, it could possibly generate energy for the entire city.

The team is currently in the process of getting permission to install their turbines from the National Highway Authority of India.

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