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Unread 19 Dec 2005, 13:34   #1
Radical Edward
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Is this theft?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/somerset/4535408.stm

while this ramp is an interesting idea, it works by taking energy from the cars, energy that the driver has paid for through the purchase of fuel. Are these road ramps basically the equivalent of siphoning off fuel from your tank?
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Unread 19 Dec 2005, 13:39   #2
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Re: Is this theft?

Cos cars are so fuel efficient otherwise.
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Unread 19 Dec 2005, 13:48   #3
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Re: Is this theft?

yes, because driving over that ramp requires more energy than just drinving on a normal road, doesnt it?
it could still be chaeper than for example a higher tax on fuel though.
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Unread 19 Dec 2005, 13:48   #4
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Re: Is this theft?

I know that they waste huge amounts of energy, I was just wondering about the technicalities of these things. Personally I think it is quite an interesting idea, though I can't see how it would do anything for the environment, and would be little more than saving council electricity bills. I think installing little solar panels or wind turbines on the lamps would be a better idea.
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Unread 19 Dec 2005, 14:16   #5
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Re: Is this theft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radical Edward
I know that they waste huge amounts of energy, I was just wondering about the technicalities of these things. Personally I think it is quite an interesting idea, though I can't see how it would do anything for the environment, and would be little more than saving council electricity bills. I think installing little solar panels or wind turbines on the lamps would be a better idea.
It would, in fact, be worse for the environment as the carse are less efficient energy sources than power plants or solar panels or what have you.
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Unread 19 Dec 2005, 14:18   #6
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Re: Is this theft?

I don't think so, provided you signpost the ramps.
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Unread 19 Dec 2005, 15:45   #7
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Re: Is this theft?

whoever is financing this thing is thieving himself.
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Unread 19 Dec 2005, 15:47   #8
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Re: Is this theft?

seems a fantastic idea.

you know, the same way communism once did.
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Unread 19 Dec 2005, 15:49   #9
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Re: Is this theft?

I wonder what happens if you hit one doing 100mph.
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Unread 19 Dec 2005, 15:58   #10
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Re: Is this theft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JammyJim
I wonder what happens if you hit one doing 100mph.
If you're driving a shitty car, your suspensions will break.
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Unread 19 Dec 2005, 16:29   #11
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Re: Is this theft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrL
It would, in fact, be worse for the environment as the carse are less efficient energy sources than power plants or solar panels or what have you.
if the energy required from the car to pass the ramp is the same or less than that required to go over a normal speed bump then would this neccessarily be the case?

for example, if rather than lifting your tonne car over the speed bump you have to depress this thing instead, will doing so cost more or less than lifting your car?
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Unread 19 Dec 2005, 16:49   #12
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Re: Is this theft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mist
if the energy required from the car to pass the ramp is the same or less than that required to go over a normal speed bump then would this neccessarily be the case?

for example, if rather than lifting your tonne car over the speed bump you have to depress this thing instead, will doing so cost more or less than lifting your car?
False dichotomy, as there is nothing in the article to suggest that they would replace normal speed bumps.
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Unread 19 Dec 2005, 16:50   #13
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Re: Is this theft?

true enough, it was an assumption.
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Unread 19 Dec 2005, 18:19   #14
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Exclamation Re: Is this theft?

These might make sense (energy wise) if you put them in front of stop signs or other areas where cars need to slow down/stop. It could capture some of the energy that would otherwise go towards heating up their brake pads.

I don't think they'd make much sense on the open road though. The article doesn't really make it clear where they're intended to be used.
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Unread 19 Dec 2005, 18:29   #15
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Re: Is this theft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tactitus
I don't think they'd make much sense on the open road though. The article doesn't really make it clear where they're intended to be used.
I don't think the inventor has a particular location in mind, though

Quote:
More than 200 local authorities had expressed an interest in ordering the £25,000 ramps to power their traffic lights and road signs, Mr Hughes said.
which would make their use to be .... exactly what you suggested. Possibly.
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Unread 20 Dec 2005, 00:06   #16
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Re: Is this theft?

How long does it take an average traffic light to use £25,000 worth of electricity?
My bet would be "quite a long time".

This just seems like yet another gimmick, and as has been mentioned, is a shit one at that as it does nothing to "save the envirnoment". All that happens is instead of burning fossil fuels at a power station, a little extra fossil fuel is burnt from each car passing over it.

I'm willing to bet power stations are slightly more efficient than cars, so this is in fact WORSE for the environment.
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Unread 20 Dec 2005, 00:11   #17
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Re: Is this theft?

This reminds me of a similar story a few years ago (in the UK or elsewhere) about a guy "stealing" electricity via inductive loops under High Voltage power lines. He got prosecuted (not electricuted).
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Unread 20 Dec 2005, 00:41   #18
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Re: Is this theft?

i'm assuming that the idea is to use them places where laying cabling to supply power would cost more than the ramps themselves.

i believe the power cost has already been covered as well as it canbe, given the vagueness of the reported application.
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Unread 20 Dec 2005, 05:42   #19
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Re: Is this theft?

I don't believe that it is theft because it is powering the freely provided traffic infrastructure, such as the stoplights, that make driving feasible. In other words the driver gives, but also get's something in return. It's ethical. A sign would make it more ethical, however.
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Unread 20 Dec 2005, 10:33   #20
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Re: Is this theft?

somehow, i can't see their introduction leading to a decrease in road tax tho...
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Unread 20 Dec 2005, 10:47   #21
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Re: Is this theft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KoeN
whoever is financing this thing is thieving himself.
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Unread 22 Dec 2005, 11:44   #22
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Re: Is this theft?

Having had a look at the site, they make the point that these things should be installed in places where the cars are slowing down anyway, so they actually assist the car slowing down and make some electricity from the kinetic energy that would have otherwise been wasted.
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Unread 22 Dec 2005, 12:47   #23
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Re: Is this theft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radical Edward
Having had a look at the site, they make the point that these things should be installed in places where the cars are slowing down anyway, so they actually assist the car slowing down and make some electricity from the kinetic energy that would have otherwise been wasted.
they could just build a half foot hill for road junctions, then you'd change your car's kinetic energy in to potential, some of which you could reclaim when you were heading off the other side.

hell, you could probably sell the idea as big speed bumps, or something
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