1. Anusha Dixit
  2. Presenter’s INNOVATETOMITIGATE
  3. Subway Solutions
  1. Nidhi Mathew
  2. Presenter’s INNOVATETOMITIGATE
  3. Subway Solutions
  1. Wally Niu
  2. Presenter’s INNOVATETOMITIGATE
  3. Subway Solutions
  1. Praneeth Thota
  2. Presenter’s INNOVATETOMITIGATE
  3. Subway Solutions
Judges’
Choice
Public
Choice

Judges’ Queries and Presenter’s Replies

  • Icon for: Nick Ruktanonchai

    Nick Ruktanonchai

    Judge
    June 8, 2015 | 09:49 a.m.

    Nice presentation! I really appreciated how you thought about how to generate piezoelectricity in an effective way (using subways vs. roads). Did previous trials or any research of the research you came across mention how long piezoelectric systems last? That is, I wonder if these systems would have to be replaced every once in a while?

  • Icon for: Nidhi Mathew

    Nidhi Mathew

    Co-Presenter
    June 9, 2015 | 08:35 p.m.

    Thank you for your comments. Previous trials using the piezoelectric system on roadways under the asphalt did show potential factors such as the weather fluctuations and the variable pressures exerted by the constant stream of traffic that eventually resulted in the long-term degradation of the underlying of piezoelectric crystal. However, research has shown that implementing a strong structural support system is able to significantly limit these concerns and increase the durability of the system. The specific trial examined used a plastic binder mixed with ceramic elements to accomplish this. Our implementation on the subway stations would face less problems with the long-term degradation of the piezoelectric system as underground subway stations usually face constant regulated temperature and moisture levels and the pressure exerted by subways usually occurs in a constant steady manner. Additionally, our piezoelectric material will be encased in carbon fiber beams on the track which would provide as structural support for the piezoelectric material and limit the amount of stress it faces, as carbon fiber is five times as strong as steel. Nevertheless, the piezoelectric system would have to be replaced after an extensive time frame as our modifications do not ensure permanent durability, but our design would still allow for the implemented flywheel mechanism to continuously produce energy in its absence.

  • Icon for: Brian Drayton

    Brian Drayton

    Judge
    June 8, 2015 | 10:21 a.m.

    Very nicely thought out, and clearly presented. Have you worked at all with flywheel storage systems? Have you thought about a way that you could test some of your assumptions about on-track installation and the increase of efficiency?

  • Icon for: Wally Niu

    Wally Niu

    Co-Presenter
    June 9, 2015 | 09:22 p.m.

    Thank you for your questions! We worked with a flywheel generator from a squeeze flashlight before, which is where we got the idea to include that in our system. We expanded on the concept to include it in our idea. As for testing the ideas, we considered experimenting on a prototype of the device in a simulated setting of a subway system, either in an online simulation or in a scale model physical version. A physical version would not be difficult to test, as we only need it to be on a model track and apply a force proportional to what it would receive from a subway train, which can be easily calculated.

  • Icon for: Kate Skog

    Kate Skog

    Judge
    June 8, 2015 | 09:29 p.m.

    This is a really interesting concept. In your comparison to the highway, you mention that you can get 222 kWh, if you implemented this system in the New York subway system how much of the lighting could be powered by your technology?

    You also mention that this technology is relatively inexpensive. How quickly would the cost savings of this technology make up for the cost of installation?

  • Icon for: Praneeth Thota

    Praneeth Thota

    Co-Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 11:16 p.m.

    Thank you for your question, Ms. Skog. At peak hours, the entire subway system requires 495,900 kilowatts, and a significant portion of this is used to power the lights in the underground stations. According to our calculations, our system would ideally produce 93,750.6 kilowatts per hour, which is 18% of the total power required in the station at peak hours. This generated energy would allow for our system to potentially power 2,533,800 incandescent light bulbs used in underground subway stations.
    The New York transportation system is currently charged around $0.12 per every kilowatt hour and thus our system would be able to save approximately $12,047 every hour assuming our estimated power totals are generated. Since subways station operate 24-7, 365 days a year, the total savings generated by our method would be around $105,531,720 a year. The large amount of money that transportation systems could save by implementing our technology allow for the cost of installation to be quickly recovered. Our estimated cost for implementation is $39,232,689.25. This total would be increased by costs of manual labor required for installment as well. However, this cost is still relatively inexpensive compared to the possible energy totals and subsequent cost savings that could be generated by our system. The cost for installation could be made up within the first year. After this upfront cost is recovered, the subway systems would be able to generate huge profits from implementation of our method. While costs associated with regular maintenance and the eventual replacement of certain system elements would still incur over time, the overall savings would significantly outweigh any of these expenditures thus allowing for eco-friendly technology to be relatively inexpensive and beneficial to the transport industry.

  • Icon for: Anusha Dixit

    Anusha Dixit

    Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 11:51 p.m.

    Hello, we have attached a summary of calculations to explain the costs and other statistics of our method listed above.
    Summary of Calculations:
    Energy Calculations:
    Total Energy used by NYC subway station: 495,900 kilowatts per hour
    Source: http://www.nycsubway.org/wiki/Subway_FAQ:_Facts...
    Energy generated by our method: 222000 watt-hours per kilometer
    Energy generated by implementation on NYC subway track: 222000 wh *422.3km = 93,750,600 watts
    Energy used by one light in underground subway station: 37 watts
    *Source: http://nypost.com/2000/02/27/watts-new-not-subw...
    Total amount of lights that could be powered by our system: 93,750,600 / 37 = 2,533,800
    Therefore, 2,533,800 of these new energy efficient lights could be powered every hour by this system.
    Savings Calculations:
    According to EIA new york transportation is charged 12.85 cents per every kilowatt hour
    Amount of money saved by our system in an hour: 0.1285 dollars * 93,750.6 kwh = $12,047
    Since subway runs 24 hours a day, Our system would save $289,128 every day ($12,047 * 93,750.6 kwh)
    Subway stations are open every day of the year so $105,531,720 could be saved every year ( 289,128
    365)
    Therefore:
    ROI calculation: 38,793,216 / 289,128 = about 135 days to make up for the total investment.
    Subway Rail Statistics:
    Calculating total track length of NYC subway:
    One rail is 656 miles (1055.73 km)
    2 rails would be 1312 miles (2111.46 km) (6927360 ft)
    Subway rail width- 2.5 inches (6.35 cm)
    Source: http://science.howstuffworks.com/engineering/ci...
    Carbon Fiber Distance Calculations:
    Carbon fiber roll dimensions (1 yd x 50 inches): around $17 per .3048m
    1yd x 50 inches carbon fiber roll = 40 pieces of carbon fiber (each 1.5 ft in length and 2.5 inch width) = 7
    Number of carbon fiber rolls to purchase: 1312 miles/7.5ft = 923648/40= 23091
    Total price: 23091
    $17 = $392,547 to install 1.5 ft (.4572m) of carbon fiber every 2 yards (1.82m)
    Thus the Carbon Fiber installation will cost an estimated $392,547
    Total length of piezoelectric system- 923648ft*1.5ft= 1,385,472 ft = 422.3 km
    Flywheel generator cost:
    Price of flywheel, gears, and wires ~= $42 per device
    Number of devices to be implemented = 923,648
    Final cost: $38,793,216
    Piezoelectric tiles cost:
    Area to be covered on subway rails is 422.3km 6.35cm2 = 5,363.21 sq ft
    Cost of piezoelectric tiles estimate : $35,000 per 4000 square feet
    *Source:http://rei.rutgers.edu/downloads/pdf-documents/...
    Total calculated price of tiles: ((1,363 / 4000) * $35,000 + 4,000)=$46,928.09
    Final total expenses on system:
    $392,547+$38,793,216+$46,928.09=$39,232,689.25
    Cost Savings yearly: $105,531,720
    ROI value: 135 days to make up for the total investment.

  • Icon for: Sergey Stavisky

    Sergey Stavisky

    Judge
    June 9, 2015 | 01:15 a.m.

    This is a really excellent paper and video presentation, Anusha, Nidhi, Wally, Praneeth. You’ve thoroughly researched the piezoelectric pressure plate power generation system, and make a compelling argument as to why subways, rather than than roads, are the right place to first deploy this technology.
    Subways need to be extremely safe, and due to the heavy, frequent trains, the wear and tear on these devices would be immense. My question is, what kind of safety issues could these beams cause? What would happen to the rail if part of the mechanism breaks? How often would these need to be inspected for safety — and could the exotic materials (crystals, carbon fiber) make it harder to spot problems?

  • Icon for: Anusha Dixit

    Anusha Dixit

    Presenter
    June 9, 2015 | 08:56 p.m.

    We appreciate your comments, Mr. Stavisky. Subway rails are made of steel and have a lifetime of around thirty years. The beams we will be using are made of carbon fiber, which is about five times stronger than steel, so there is not a significant concern about beam safety as long as the beams are correctly installed. Thus, our mechanical flywheel system is given two layers of protection as it is covered by the subway rail and the carbon fiber encasing which can mitigate the potential wear and tear caused by the moving subways. Additionally, because most of our mechanical elements of our idea are contained in the flywheel system that lies under the rail, if it were to break, then the results would not necessarily be detrimental to the movement of the passing train. The pressure piezoelectric plate is the only portion of the system that lays above the steel rails, however it is not raised to a position where the subway could get derailed in the event that the gears of the connecting flywheel system become stuck, so this should not cause any safety hazards. However, numerous tests and trials under a variety of conditions should be conducted before implementation of this system to ensure no accidents will occur since public safety still remains the greatest priority. The convenience of our method lies in its accommodation to existing subway processes. The mechanism would only need to be inspected during usual inspections for the subway stations. The carbon fiber should not prevent the locating and solving of problems, especially if the mechanisms are easily accessible through a hatch in the beam itself.

  • Further posting is closed as the competition has ended.

Presentation Discussion
  • Icon for: Matthew Feng

    Matthew Feng

    June 7, 2015 | 09:46 p.m.

    How can this technology be implemented into magnetic levitation trains, another ideal technology? If there is a way to combine the two, then the result would be extremely eco-friendly.

  • Icon for: Anusha Dixit

    Anusha Dixit

    Presenter
    June 9, 2015 | 04:38 p.m.

    This is an interesting thought. Currently, our method relies on direct contact of the subway trains on the rails and by extension the beams. However, it could potentially be modified to utilize the magnetic fields that keep maglev trains elevated to physically push on the systems we have described.

  • Small default profile

    Kevin Jung

    Guest
    June 9, 2015 | 09:10 p.m.

    Hey let’s play fair kids…votes spiked in 2 hours.

  • Icon for: Nidhi Mathew

    Nidhi Mathew

    Co-Presenter
    June 9, 2015 | 09:37 p.m.

    Hi Kevin, we understand your concern. Our group reached out to friends and family to support us on this project. We shared our video through Facebook, Twitter, email, and even asked in person for them to view our projects and vote. As for the short time period this occurred within, that was simply a result of the magnitude of the response of those we contacted. Tonight was our first chance as a group to fully mobilize our resources and reach out to people who can support us. We appreciate your efforts to moderate a healthy public vote competition and we want to assure you that all the votes we gained were in a fair manner. Thank you!

  • Small default profile

    Kevin Jung

    Guest
    June 11, 2015 | 12:15 p.m.

    Only mentioned it because your team seems to have created over 30 twitter accounts just to vote for your own project…

    I believe your project is excellent, except it would be great if you didn’t use unconventional methods to hike the votes.

    https://twitter.com/aegisliam/status/6080442203...
    https://twitter.com/dolloup
    https://twitter.com/cheerfuIou
    ….

    Good luck to Wally and the team!

  • Icon for: Anusha Dixit

    Anusha Dixit

    Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 06:59 p.m.

    Thank you for your concern. Unfortunately, one of our contacts went above and beyond the call for votes and took it upon themselves to do this without our knowledge. Our contact did this with good intentions and only wished to support our group’s endeavors. We have now spoken to our contact, removed the tweets and taken measures to prevent this from happening again. No member in our group ever took the initiative to spike the voting system as each of us truly only wish to win the public choice award in a fair and deserving manner. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused and wish to thank you for alerting us about this matter. We are glad that you enjoyed our project. Thank you.
    Sincerely,
    Subway Solutions

  • Small default profile

    Kevin Jung

    Guest
    June 12, 2015 | 12:28 a.m.

    My sincerest apologies! I shouldn’t have jumped to conclusions. Great job team! I hope your project does great.

  • Icon for: Nidhi Mathew

    Nidhi Mathew

    Co-Presenter
    June 12, 2015 | 08:34 a.m.

    Thank you! We’re actually grateful that you spent the time to alert us about this issue.
    Best Regards,
    Subway Solutions

  • Small default profile

    Kishan

    Guest
    June 10, 2015 | 09:38 p.m.

    What is the ROI?

  • Icon for: Praneeth Thota

    Praneeth Thota

    Co-Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 10:54 p.m.

    Hi kishan, based on calculations that we have done, the cost to implement 1.5 ft carbon fiber for every 7.5 ft on the NYC subway system costs 392,547 dollars. But in turn the 222 kwh of electricity generated every kilometer from our system saves 289,128 dollars on the electricity bill every day. Even if the labor, installation, and system all cost 100 million dollars, we will still be able to get a 100 % ROI in a little over a year as our system allows the NYC subway to save 105,531,720 dollars from the electricity bill every year (289,128*365). But we have to keep in mind that the ultimate goal is to use green energy and we are doing exactly that.

    Thank you for taking time to view and comment on our presentation,
    Subway Solutions

  • Small default profile

    Sam Ritter

    Guest
    June 10, 2015 | 10:45 p.m.

    What if I want the trains to fly?

  • Small default profile

    Vipin Tripathi

    Guest
    June 11, 2015 | 05:05 a.m.

    This is really an innovative idea and could lead to lot of energy renew and save fossil fuels

  • Icon for: Anusha Dixit

    Anusha Dixit

    Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 11:54 p.m.

    Thank you very much!

  • Small default profile

    Abhinav Pandey

    Guest
    June 11, 2015 | 12:42 p.m.

    This is a great idea, and could shut down one of the many causes of global warming.

  • Icon for: Anusha Dixit

    Anusha Dixit

    Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 11:53 p.m.

    Thank you for the input!

  • Small default profile

    dr.Gopal Pandey

    Guest
    June 11, 2015 | 05:42 p.m.

    This innovative idea/project on utilization of kinetic energy will go a long way in conservation of fossil fuel and will also reduce environmental pollution and mitigation of climate change.

  • Small default profile

    Gopal Pandey

    Guest
    June 11, 2015 | 09:56 p.m.

    Excellent idea as it will not only generation addl.energy but prevent env.pollution and mitigate climate change.pollution and mitigate climate change.

  • Icon for: Anusha Dixit

    Anusha Dixit

    Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 11:53 p.m.

    Thank you so much!

  • Further posting is closed as the competition has ended.