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Journal of Renewable Energy
Volume 2017, Article ID 9643858, 16 pages
Research Article

Piezoelectric Energy Generation from Vehicle Traffic with Technoeconomic Analysis

Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering, School of Engineering & Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, 1294345 Dubai, UAE

Correspondence should be addressed to Hiba Najini;

Received 17 April 2016; Revised 21 August 2016; Accepted 28 September 2016; Published 13 February 2017

Academic Editor: Michael McAleer

Copyright © 2017 Hiba Najini and Senthil Arumugam Muthukumaraswamy. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper presents a technical simulation based system to support the concept of generating energy from road traffic using piezoelectric materials. The simulation based system design replicates a real life system implementation. It investigates practicality and feasibility using a real-time simulation platform known as MATLAB-Simulink. The system design structure was proposed considering factors involved with the field of material sciences for piezoelectric generator modeling and field of power electronics for additional components in producing a realist outcome. It also ensures ease of vehicle performance, as this system utilizes energy source derived as kinetic energy released from vehicles into electrical power output, that is, obtained by harnessing kinetic energy due to strain of vehicles over asphalt road surface. Due to the real-time simulation platform, the system simulation predicts the effective global carbon footprint. In addition to evaluating technical viability, a technoeconomical business analysis provides a strategic perspective. By using the simulation based power generation results, an estimation of implementation cost and payback time in real life (for United Arab Emirates) was derived, hence validating and predicting real-time economic outcome. This is followed by a comparative study with other sources of renewable energy based on levelized energy cost factor that justifies the performance of the proposed system over other renewable energy sources, in support of providing an economical solution on reducing global carbon footprint.