2012: Transforming the Bridge | 12257

Team: Bojana Bjukanovic, Andrea Melgarejo de Berry, Stefan Stanojevic

Location: Urbana, Illinois

Overview: Public Power transforms the energy from a local source and uses it as a social activator. The pressure produced by the cars on the upper deck is converted into electricity then distributed through lighting elements and electrical outlets open for public use on the lower deck. The traffic that has negative connotation is now a positive trigger for public interaction.
The technology is piezo electric generators, embedded under the first layer of asphalt, converting mechanical energy from the cars into high voltage electricity. In the scale of the Detroit Superior Bridge 15,600 cars pass daily the length of 0.6 miles with the potential to produce 200 kW – enough energy to supply 5,000 laptops. This energy is stored into batteries on the side of the road and reuses energy locally, thereby minimizing transfer loss.
The energy is produced close to the end users, and then delivered as publicly used outlets, which can be used for various activities divided by the following sections: rented, free, performance. The position of the outlets will be marked by the bubble shaped lighting elements, also creating a unique spatial quality. Road installation costs will be returned by rented section for small businesses.

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