By Tuan Nguyen
Posting in Cities
A speeding train produces tremendous gusts that can just as easily be converted into electricity.
Although nature does a mighty fine job of stirring up vast amounts of usable wind energy, humans whip up a fair bit it of themselves.
A speeding train, for instance, produces tremendous gusts that can just as easily be converted into electricity. A couple years ago, an Indian inventor named Santosh Pradhan proposed a modification to current trains that, according to his calculations, would have harvested as much as 10,000 megawatts of electricity each day from trains operating in Mumbia, a city in India.
Now designers from the firm Yanko Design have seized upon the same principle and developed a device that can collect wind energy from passing trains. The technology works similarly to a wind tunnel concept put forth last year by a team of Korean designers in which miniature turbine-based generators would be strategically placed at various spots along the walls of a subway train tunnel.
The device, called a T-Box, differs in that it is designed to be installed within the actual railing track itself. It consists of a durable metallic cylinder with vents, which allow air to flow through and rotate turbine blades housed inside. Yanko claims that a 1000 meter stretch of railroad can be retrofitted with about 150 T-boxes. Considering that a train barreling down at a speed of 200 kilometers per hour creates winds of roughly 15 miles a second, the T-boxes could generate 2.6 KwH of electricity.
But like many similar ideas, the T-Box currently exists in the pristine world of concepts where issues like debris, dirt and maintenance issues are absent, which isn't the case in the real world. So there's a strong likelihood that train passengers will never see one in operation.
To its credit, though, the T-Box concept did win a design award from the Taiwanese conglomerate Lite-On. So at least they're on the right track.
Photo: Yanko Design
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Mar 31, 2011
Hi, Iam santhosh doing my final graduation in mechanical engg. I have a idea of generating electricity from train and my project is on same thing and til today am preparing model.
Hello, How to Implement Wind Energy Equipments in Metro Trains:- As we all know that Wind Energy is very useful for production of Electricity. So we can also design the Metro train in such a away that we can place multiple set of fan blades or rotor in front or above the Metro trains well effective designed boxes, so it will get maximum air flow and all rotating element will internally well connected to turbines that will generate the Electricity while rotating. By this way we can utilize the high speed running Metro. To get both way utilization we can place this rotor boxes on front and rear side of Metro trains, as Metro is running on both the directions. As I am having some special designs for rotor-turbine boxes and plans to implement these boxes in existing running Metros. Regards, Faraz Naim Senior Software Engineer 09999249491
I dont agree with the premise. Since tunnels increase wind resistance losses a greater use of the technology is to move air under the train to the rear to reduce the suction effect pulling air through the tunnel. This would likely reduce energy consumption overall. On open track and on the sides of roads, such systems may contribute to energy obtained locally, but generally anything which tries to use air flow to generate power simply raises air-resistance and energy cost on the train. We can justify this with power producing speed humps or turbines by the side of roads partly because traffic in these situations needs to pay a duty towards the communities it passes through, and because vehicles have a huge redundant generating capacity. Also, the extra cost in energy can be eliminated by simply reducing average road speed. The same argument hardly applies to tunnels where maximum speeds are already set around air resistance and where a community is not directly effected by passing trains.
try embedding the turbines on top of the trains rather than on the rails! this way can't it work??? on the track the debris can create a lot of problems to the movement of the turbine. and this idea can only produce sufficient energy in the train not on the stations! if it is needed to be provided in the stations, then humans must stop using the latrines @ stations and also stop littering it! again there is a defect to this: if the trains are going to halt @ stations their speed must reduce so we wont get the required power for working this stuff out! so it must be placed ample amount of distance away from the station platforms.
I agree with Wallace Bob, #2. Isn't this essentially the equivalent of putting a windmill on an electric car to charge the batteries? Although, the train idea might be useful for downhill stretches or prior to stations, since the train would be braking anyway. You'd generate some electricity and reduce wear on the brakes. Electric cars already do this (more directly) by regenerative braking.
A short while back I proposed a new design concept for all autos regardless of the source of power. Create mini wind tunnels and install wind turbines inside to generate electricity. The design would have to create a net effective increase in energy produced versus additional energy to operate but is certainly doable. The real challenge is getting the public to accept such a radical body style change but with gas near $4 again it might not be such a challenge. And of course I never heard back from any auto makers on this concept.
Wind turbines embedded in the track bed is a terrific way to go. They are out of the way and would not require additional expansion of existing tunnels. They would actually reduce resistance as they move when encountering wind force whereas the track bed and ties are solid and do produce effective resistance. The only real challenge is in the debris/safety screen design. Allowing enough air flow in yet keeping the larger debris out. Once again humans are the cause of the problem. Dirt, debris, and grit would not affect the turbines as they would use hardened sealed steel bearings.
Will not any sort of device placed in the route of wind movement add back pressure? One might harvest energy from the created wind but increase the energy needed to power the train. It could work like sticking a turbine in a car's exhaust pipe.
I can almost guarantee if installed between the rails passengers wouldn't even see them if they were in operation.
Hello i am working on it..kindly give some suggestions..how we can increase efficiency in this model? Regards. saurabh singh student. 8109861869
Hi, Even I have the same idea but I am not understanding where to start. Regards, venkat ch +91-8801693986
Hello, Even i have the same Idea that the generation of Power from the moving Train. I started developing the concept with an idea. Regards, Vinodkumar.V Delta India Electronics +91-9591374147
hello i m agree with you..kindly suggest the way to work on this track..also suggest the way to increase efficiency? Regards. saurabh.
yes of course i am satisfied with ur reason of not using turbines on the track.. its better that a turbine is built on the top of the train.... actually i am making a project on this topic in my final year......... need ur suggestion can it be possible please reply .... and please give some ideas.....
by assembling convergent nozzle over the roof of the train and making air to go with high pressure to the turbine and necessary cap is major requirement for this can produce power.
Don't forget that if the boxes were NOT under the train, there would be an EMPTY space there... duh.
Yes it will add resistance to the train. Turbine in the exaust is what a turbo charger is by the way.