Pothole power, a new concept

2015-05-28 06:00

GOODYEAR is showcasing a concept at the 2015 Geneva auto show – a tyre that can produce electricity.

The concept, code named “BH03” its maker says, can transform tyre deformation and vibration into electrical energy. Given South Africa’s potholed roads, it should work well.

According to Goodyear: “The tyre creates electrical energy that supplies the batteries of the car’s hybrid power train, as well as other on-board technologies.”

The tyre generates electricity from two types of material:

• Thermo-electric - transforms heat (generated inside the tyre by light/heat absorption) into electrical energy.

• Piezo-electric material - transforms the pressure due to structural deformation and vibrations into electrical energy.

General director at Goodyear’s Innovation Centre in Luxembourg, Jean-Pierre Jeusette, said: “Concerns about energy and the environment drove us to develop this energy-producing concept tyre. Every futuristic idea starts with a societal challenge which we then aim to address as we work to build a better future.

“We are convinced that this tyre provides inspiration and that its insights will have a place in future development.”

Goodyear’s new materials form a structure within the tyre which “could potentially support the load of a car if the tyre is punctured, an alternative approach to delivering run-flat technology”.

The concept has a large circumferential channel to improve aquaplaning resistance and forms a unique tread for noise absorption.The tyre is purely a concept, though one meant for electric/hybrid vehicles, and Goodyear has no plans to release it to market.

Goodyear says the tyres could be used by autonomous cars to prepare their shape before, for instance, entering a curve in the road.

Or a pothole, perhaps.

— Wheels24

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