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Gas stations powered by vehicle kinetic energy: first experiment begins

Autostrade per l'Italia's commitment to promoting "green" and "tech" solutions for the sustainable development and management of the highway network continues.

Illuminating a service station or operating a tollbooth on the highway thanks to the passage of vehicles: these are just some of the results that will be possible thanks to the "Kinetic energy harvesting from vehicles" (KEHV) project, the world's first highway experimentation involving the use of a technological platform capable of transforming the kinetic energy of decelerating vehicles into electrical energy, otherwise dissipated into heat at the brakes.

Autostrade per l'Italia's goal is to create a platform, integrated with the main management and monitoring systems of the highway infrastructure, that can produce clean energy in addition to the typical photovoltaic energy.Tests have started on the A1 in the Arno Est service area and will also continue in the coming months with experimentation in a toll track.

According to initial estimates, thanks to the average daily passage of 9 thousand vehicles, with a single module it will be possible to produce 30 megawatt hours per year equal to a reduction of 11 tons of CO2.

A revolutionary system. The KEHV project is based on the LYBRA system developed by startup 20energy s.r.l.

A vehicle passing over the module activates an electromechanical generator, and the electricity is made usable through an electronic converter that allows it to be connected to the grid. In a service area, for example, the energy produced could be used to power lighting, advertising signs and even electric vehicle charging generators.

In the case of the toll station, the energy generated could be used by the toll booth system (cash registers; barriers and lighting).

According to estimates prepared by Movyon in the Milan North and Milan South barriers, with an average daily traffic of about 8 thousand heavy vehicles and 63 thousand light vehicles, the installations distributed on the tracks could achieve a total annual production for each of the two stations of more than 200 MWh, saving 70 tons of CO2/year. In the second phase of the project, more installations are planned on the managed network.

The trial is part of the projects developed by the Group on innovation and sustainability.

Based on the results obtained, this system may also be included within the broader Mercury Smart Sustainable Mobility program, the Autostrade per l'Italia Group's plan aimed at creating a large unified and coordinated hub for technological innovation to ensure safer infrastructures and to participate as protagonists in the revolution that decarbonization, digitalization and new transport services are bringing to all mobility systems.


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