Thursday, 26 May 2011

Amsterdam to convert vibrations from bridges into electricity

As vehicles cross the three 17th-century bridges of Utrechtse street, they rumble over cobblestones, sending tremors through the bridges, and continue on their way.
But something is about to change. By the end of this year, the energy from those vibrations is to be transformed into electricity to power lights where the three bridges cross city canals.

The US$8,000 (Dh29,384) machines are part of a set of retrofits, ranging from solar-powered rubbish compactors to carbon dioxide monitors, aimed at slashing greenhouse gas emissions on the historic street by as much as 40 per cent. If the project, nicknamed "Climate Street", works on the nearly kilometre-long stretch of shops and restaurants, its planners hope to bring similar measures to a business park outside the capital.

"In theory, we can be 100 per cent sustainable," said Yoeri van Alteren, the director of Club van 30, the company managing the project. "But in practice, you have to talk to the entrepreneurs to get them to invest in some things, and you have to be helping with some things."

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