April 22, 2014

Turbine generates energy from L.A. Metro subway airflow

Mass airflow collection equipment photo courtesy Metro

Mass airflow collection equipment photo courtesy Metro

Evan Rosenberg/Metro

LOS ANGELES — From August through September 2013, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (L.A. Metro) conducted a one-month pilot program to see if wind energy could safely and effectively be captured and used, The Source reported.

The project involved installing a 10-foot multi-blade mass airflow collection equipment (MACE) in the Red Line subway tunnel. Each time a train left the station, the MACE fan blades would start spinning, thus capturing energy up to a minute before the train actually passed by.

During the run of the pilot program, the MACE generated an average of 77.7 kilowatt hours (kWh) per day. It is projected that the 10-foot MACE section could generate more than 28,000 kWh per year–enough to power about 12 homes in California for one year, or turn out approximately $6,000 per year in electrical production, according to The Source report. For the full story, click here.

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  • Keith[ April 22th, 2014 @ 11:32am ]

    Perhaps I am missing something here. Doesn't the addition of the fan add resistance to the flow of air in the tunnel which them must be overcome by more energy from the train? Unless, of course, the train is decelerating, in which case the added fan resistance would help slow the train and be benefical, albeit marginally. KUDO's to the turbine salesman for rewriting the Law of Conservation of Energy!

  • Engineering Sam[ April 22th, 2014 @ 12:52pm ]

    I hope everyone understand that this is not *free* energy. They are just taking it from the train. So in reality, LACMTA will just be paying more to power the train, to power the trubines. It's like putting a turbine on the roof of your car. Yay, free power. Hmm, not so much.

  • ian haynes[ April 24th, 2014 @ 1:40am ]

    Agreed 100%. Its one of those ideas that seems viable unless you think it through from an engineering and scientific perspective and the unbreakable laws of physics. Energy cannot be made or destroyed, it has to come from somewhere and the power consumed by the trains is the source of the turbine energy.

  • doesnotmatter[ May 5th, 2014 @ 4:05am ]

    Haha, made this project made my day :-)

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