Harvesting Kinetic Energy

18 Aug

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) will soon be harvesting additional energy from its rail system by taking advantage of regenerative braking. The technology, widely used in hybrid vehicles, converts the kinetic energy of the vehicle into electricity that can be used later. The transit agency has already been capturing the kinetic energy generated by their trains to power lights. But now, SEPTA is expanding the technology to feed power back into the grid. Philadelphia-based Viridity Energy will be working with other energy-storage technology firms to make this nifty endeavor a reality.

In addition to harvesting energy, the system offers multiple benefits to rail operators, including a 20-30% reduction in grid power consumption, a reduction in brake maintenance expenses, and the creation of a backup power source that enables vehicles to reach a station in the event of a power failure.

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