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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
VEHICLE ENERGY HARVESTING SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/056033
Kind Code:
A4
Abstract:
An energy harvesting system (100) for harvesting energy from vehicles travelling on a road (102). The system (100) includes a plurality of flexible hoses (104) which are embedded in a road overlay (106). Each hose (104) holds a hydraulic fluid, e.g. water, such that, when a vehicle wheel (108) passes over the hose (104), the fluid is displaced. The system (100) further comprises a plurality of double-acting hydraulic fluid cylinders (109) which are in fluid flow communication with the fluid in the hoses (104) and are configured to convert pressure applied to the fluid into rotary motion which drives an electrical generator. One hose is connected to each end of the cylinder (109) to drive it in opposite directions to induce linear reciprocating motion which is converted to rotary motion by way of a mechanical drivetrain. Due to the double action, it drives at least two drive shafts simultaneously.

Inventors:
MOKOENENE, Ramokotjo, Clement (3 Rose Avenue, 1620 Kempton Park, 1620, ZA)
Application Number:
IB2016/055830
Publication Date:
May 18, 2017
Filing Date:
September 29, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
EPITOME PROPERTY INVESTMENTS (PTY) LTD (3 Rose Avenue, 1620 Kempton Park, 1620, ZA)
International Classes:
H02N2/18; F03B13/10; F03G7/00; F03G7/04; H02K7/18
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DAVIES, James, Hasely (Adams & Adams, PO Box 1014, 0001 Pretoria, 0001, ZA)
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Claims:
AMENDED CLAIMS

received by the International Bureau on 23 March 2017 (23.03.2017)

1 . An energy harvesting system for harvesting energy from vehicles travelling on a road, the system including: a plurality of tubular members embedded within a road surface or within an overlay placed on a road surface, the tubular members being arranged transverse to a direction of travel on the road, each tubular member including an energy transfer fluid which is contained within the tubular member such that, when a vehicle wheel passes over the tubular member, it is subjected to compression or a compressive load which serves to displace the energy transfer fluid; and an energy converting means which is in fluid flow communication with the fluid in the tubular members and is configured to convert pressure applied to the energy transfer fluid into electrical power, wherein the energy converting means includes: at least one double-acting fluid cylinder which is in fluid flow communication with two tubular members such that the energy transfer fluid within the respective tubular members is configured to drive the fluid cylinder in opposite directions to induce reciprocating motion of the cylinder; and a drivetrain which drivingly connects the fluid cylinder to an electrical generator which is configured to convert rotary motion into electrical energy, wherein the drivetrain includes at least a pair of drive shafts, each configured for rotation about a separate drive axis, an electrical generator being connected or connectable to each shaft.

2. An energy harvesting system as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the double- acting cylinder has an arm protruding from each end of the cylinder which is drivingly connected to the drivetrain.

3. An energy harvesting system as claimed in claim 2, wherein the drivetrain includes a rack which is connected to the arm of the cylinder and a drive pinion which is mounted to the drive shaft, the drive pinion including a freewheeling mechanism which permits the pinion to drive the drive shaft in one direction and freewheel relative to the shaft in the opposite direction.

4. An energy harvesting system as claimed in claim 3, wherein a rack and pinion arrangement as claimed in claim 3 connects each arm of the cylinder to one of the drive shafts.

5. An energy harvesting system as claimed in claim 4, which includes a plurality of fluid cylinders and corresponding rack and pinion arrangements which are drivingly connected to the pair of drive shafts.

6. An energy harvesting system as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the double- acting cylinder has an arm protruding from each end of the cylinder which is drivingly connected to a chain and sprocket arrangement, at least one sprocket of the arrangement being mounted to the drive shaft and includes a freewheeling mechanism which permits the sprocket to drive the drive shaft in one direction and freewheel relative to the shaft in the opposite direction.

7. An energy harvesting system as claimed in claim 6, wherein the chain and sprocket arrangement is drivingly connected to the pair of drive shafts configured to rotate about separate axes.

8. An energy harvesting system as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the fluid cylinder is a hydraulic cylinder.

9. An energy harvesting system as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 7, wherein the fluid cylinder is a pneumatic cylinder.

10. An energy harvesting system as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the electrical generator is an electrical motor.

1 1 . An energy harvesting system as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the tubular members are obliquely angled with respect to a line perpendicular to the direction of travel across the road.

12. An energy harvesting system as claimed in claim 1 1 , wherein the tubular members are parallel to one another and longitudinally spaced apart with respect to the road surface, the tubular members extending at least partially across a width of the road from one side of the road.

13. A method of harvesting energy from a road, the method including: embedding a plurality of tubular members, each having an energy transfer fluid contained within it, within the road or within an overlay placed over the road such that the tubular members are arranged transverse to a direction of travel on the road; subjecting the tubular members to a pressure force exerted by a vehicle wheel passing over the road such that the energy transfer fluid within the tubular member is pressurised or displaced by the pressure force; and converting pressure applied to the energy transfer fluid into electrical power using at least one double-acting fluid cylinder which is in fluid flow communication with the energy transfer fluid in the tubular members such that the energy transfer fluid within the tubular members is configured to drive the fluid cylinder in opposite directions to induce reciprocating motion of the cylinder and which is drivingly connected, by way of a mechanical drivetrain, to a pair of drive shafts, each of which is connected to an electrical generator.