In his ceaseless endeavor for survival, man does not leave any source of energy to harness for replacing the fast dwindling fossil fuels. But it is crazy to think of energy being generated from the pot holes on the road over which automobiles ply regularly. If the invention of the new shock absorber designed to produce electricity from the bumping action after the automobile goes over the pot holes on the roads can be translated into commercial products, production of fuel efficiency of cars can be expected to go up significantly.
"Usually, shock absorbers dissipate the energy of bouncing vehicles as heat. But the new shocks can use the kinetic energy of bounces to generate watts, putting the electricity to use running the vehicle's windshield wipers, fans or dashboard lights, for example. The devices, called GenShocks, can be installed both in ordinary and hybrid vehicles, lowering fuel consumption by 1 to 6 percent, depending on the vehicle and road conditions, said Shakeel Avadhany, chief executive of the company, which is based in Cambridge, Mass. The new shocks look like ordinary shock absorbers with an electrical power cord at one end. They plug into a power box that regulates the electricity they produce, putting it out at a voltage required by the truck, car or bus. GenShocks will cost slightly more than conventional shock absorbers, Mr. Avadhany said, "but you will get those dollars back through improved fuel economy." He projected that the products would be on the market in the second quarter of 2011".
The innovator of this new design must be a person with roots in one of the countries where pot holed roads are so common. Probably India may be the biggest beneficiary as the per capita pot holes on the roads in the country is considered highest in the world due to past 5 decades of neglect. Added to this the speed breakers, most of them with sharp features and non-standard design can further increase the quantum of electricity generated on Indian roads! One question begging for an answer is whether the fuel efficiency achieved is more than neutralized by the wear and tear on the tyres due to negotiating such ragged edged pot holes.