Well, here’s a new concept in energy production: braking regeneration.
Diane Cardwell writes at the NY Times, “Along Philadelphia’s busy Market-Frankford subway line, the trains behave like those of any transit system, slowing to halt at the platforms and picking up passengers.
“But more is happening than meets the eye. In an experimental system that is soon to be more widely adopted, every time the trains pull into certain stations, they recover the kinetic energy as they brake and channel it as electricity to battery banks at one of two substations.
“The batteries, managed by software, can then use that power to push the trains back out or to help modulate electricity flows on the grid.
“The system is unusual because the batteries are being used for more than just powering the trains, said Gary Fromer, senior vice president for distributed energy at Constellation, the power provider that will own and operate the system for the transportation authority.
“The electricity savings alone do not justify the battery costs, he said, so it was important to find another source of revenue, which comes from selling energy services to the grid. …
” ‘We don’t have to front the money and we’re reaping both savings and actually money coming back our way,’ said Jeffrey D. Knueppel, general manager of the transportation authority. The base technology of the system, known as regenerative braking, was one of the breakthroughs that allowed for the development of hybrid and electric cars like the Prius.” More here.
This reminds me of my 2012 post on inmates in Brazil who bike to create electricity — and reduce their sentences. And this post from 2013 about lighting schools by playing soccer. All hail to human ingenuity!
Photo: Jessica Kourkounis for The New York Times