Supermarket to be powered by cars in parking lot

by James


The effort to keep business expenses low while trying to transition to a more green lifestyle has prompted a British super market to look to their parking lot to power their lights and run their cash register. And the idea may catch on for other power needs as well.

Sainsbury’s installed a new kinetic plating system in the parking lot lanes which generate power as a car drives over them. The way it works is that as a car moves over the plates, it’s hydraulic action turns a power generator creating up to 30 kilowatts of electricity. And apparently there’s enough flow through business that the energy generated is running the store’s power for lighting and cash transactions through their point of sale computer systems.

Additionally, Sainsbury is collecting rain water to use in the toilets, and larger floor to ceiling windows are making the interior brighter to lower needs for lighting. There are also plans of funneling unsold food to a biomass plant to generate further green power. But it’s the user of the kinetic plates that has the British government thinking similar technology can be harnessed to power street lights all over the city.

That’s an excellent example of how better ideas can not only save energy and better the environment, but create jobs for installing and maintaining it as it powers the system.

Hat Tip – The Guardian

16 reviews or comments

unamedOne Says: June 25, 2009 at 12:09 pm

I for one hate the idea. It’s just another way companies are externalizing their costs onto the consumers and taxpayers. The 30 Kwatts of engergy is engery I paid for at the gas pumps and it’s engergy that i would rather not waste on powering a store. Yes, i know it’s a small amount but think about what happens if everybody starts doing this! Small things add up! One idea i would not be apposed to is if they converted the rolling kinetic energy while pulling up into a parking spot. This way, energy that would be simply converted to heat by your breaks is actually doing something useful. Secondly, it means less wear on your breaks which helps the consumer. Everybody would win in this situation. Anyways, i think they need to go back to the drawing boards and think this one through again.

Twistedtomato Says: June 28, 2009 at 11:54 am

I think you missed the idea here unamedOne. Hydraulic action is just the car going over the plates. It’s not going to take any extra energy from your car. It’s just useing gravity and the power we’re already putting out to get where we wanna go.

Read it again, take a closer look.

Edward Says: July 5, 2009 at 12:13 am

Ya..I like this idea..It was very creative and useful.

Jeniffer Aaron Says: September 30, 2009 at 12:16 am

Fantastic Informations, i just found this blogpost story from my technorati profile news feeds section! I was searching for this since past 3 months and i am glad to see it here. Thanking you much


No-Fault Insurance Says: November 6, 2009 at 3:02 pm

Smart guy. That technology will really reduce wastes and increase efficience. Thanks to the offer.

energyisn’tfree Says: November 25, 2009 at 10:15 am

actually, unamedOne is right… to the person that said “it’s just using gravity” that’s not entirely the case. For it to push down a hydraulic pump, your car first has to use the energy to get on top of it, meaning it would indeed slow your car down causing you to give it more gas. Energy doesn’t magically appear. This energy is made from the gas you put in your car. While its not a lot of energy, it does add up and if a lot of businesses were using this model, then it would amount to more gas use.

hardtochoose Says: November 29, 2009 at 1:13 pm

this was something very interesting to read about. i like this idea alot and think its the best to of ever been thought about, but! why should it be us the ones who have to put in the effort for places to run? these places will only make plus profit from selling and by not paying electricity and they couldnt care less. they already have prices on what they sell rising and making big time profit, with this idea they will make heapssss more.

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