Moving Trains = Energy to Harvest

The Virginia Tech Center for Vehicle Systems and Safety and the Railway Technologies Laboratory want to harness the energy created by moving trains and transform that energy into usable electricity. Watch this video to see how Mehdi Ahmadian's team successfully tested a railroad tie equipped with technology to do just that.

“For every wheel of the train that goes by, we are harvesting 15 to 20 watts of power,” said CVeSS Director Mehdi Ahmadian . “If we have a long train with maybe 200 railcars, that’s 800 wheels, making 1.6 kilowatts. Once we have stored that energy, we are able to use it to make the tracks more intelligent by embedding sensors in them.”