How to Make Electricity Generation from Noise with Noise Barriers?
United States Federal Highway Administration (FHWD) defines noise as very simple; a sound that is not liked. Although there are so many different sources of noise, highway noise is the one that is the most inevitable and hard to deal with. And the most effective method is to use highway noise barriers. The interest in noise barriers increases every day because of the complication and hardness of modern daily life.
We have talked about the harms or bad effects of noise and its effects on our lives so many times before in our posts. So, aren’t there any benefits of noise? Can we gain something from it? Today, we prepared an interesting post about electricity generation from noise barriers to answering these questions.
Electricity Generation from Noise with Noise Barriers
Actually, we are not talking about a new thing while talking about generating electricity from noise. It is really possible to generate power from sound waves. A sound wave is a kind of energy and it is possible to transform it into electricity. But, we need so many powerful sound waves to do it. And, even with this, we can generate only a little amount of energy. So the generation of power from sound waves is not very feasible with today’s technology.
But the generation we are talking about is a classical solar energy generation with solar panels that are placed on or around noise barriers. Actually, it is a traditional photovoltaic (PV) system for solar energy. But the establishment methods and places of these panels is a topic that has been improving constantly.
Photovoltaic Noise Barriers (PVNBs)
Although very innovative, noise barriers and photovoltaic noise barriers (PVNBs) are not new things. Highway noise has been accepted as a problem since the early 1960s in the USA. So they built the first examples of highway noise barriers. Today, there is wide use of noise barriers. For example, there are more than 3000 miles of active noise barriers just in the USA.
The highway noise barrier is actually a kind of hurdle that is effective in blocking or changing directions of the sound waves. There are two types of obstacles; natural (little hills, soil, or trees) and artificial ones. Artificial hurdles are generally made from wood, metal, concrete, or some other proper materials. But today, the most improved noise barriers are, like we produce as Hatko, made of rubber. Rubber is very beneficial in noise or sound absorption.
The noise barrier construction process is very complicated and requires interdisciplinary coordination.
In order to install noise barriers we need;
- Transportation planner,
- Landscape exper and architect,
- Acoustical engineer,
- Structural engineer,
- Construction engineer
to work each other closely.
City planners should consider so many different issues and aims while planning noise barriers. The barriers should adapt to the environment, and be cost-effective while reducing the sound level. To provide cost-efficiency, innovative missions planned for them for many years like air pollution reduction, stormwater retention, and electricity generation.
Electricity Generation with PVs
Photovoltaic Noise Barriers (PVNBs) is a kind of combination of noise barrier and traditional PV system. Actually, the system is so simple. Management establishes noise barriers generally to a wide area because of the nature and features of the panels. Also, they are suitable for PVs because outside events can’t easily affect the panels. So, the logic is; noise barriers are there standing under the sunlight for many years. It will be cost-effective to generate electricity and earn money from them.
Actually, as we mentioned before, this idea is not new. Officials tried this in Switzerland for the first time in 1989 and succeeded. Today, there are so many PVNBs around the world and they generate electricity. What is more, there are new ideas and researches to improve this. Some of the new ideas are;
- Thin PV film,
- Semi-transparent PV,
- PV glass,
- Luminescant Solar Concentrators (LSCs)
We will talk about these new technologies in another post.
At Hatko Company, today we manufacture the best quality noise barriers. We, not just manufacture, also follow all the new ideas and innovations in the sector and improve ourselves with R&Ds. The need and expectations from the noise barriers constantly on the rise. To catch up with them, we guide ourselves and our customers to better and more quality.