Tunnelkraftwerk - Energy production from naturally generated air flows in tunnels

Project: Research project

Project Details


The generation of electrical energy in one's own sphere of activity is the desire and necessity of every big electricity consumer, such as operators of large transport infra-structures. In addition to the widespread use of photovoltaic, the use of geothermal energy (mostly for space heating) is of interest. For some time now, however, the focus has also been on the possibility of using naturally generated air flows in road tunnels to generate electricity. The idea is based on the fact that existing mechanical ventilation systems actually run most of the time in standby mode, since mechanical ventilation is no longer required to achieve the necessary air exchange in the tunnel, especially in tunnels with unidirectional traffic. On the other hand, safety considerations for special cases such as traffic jams or even a firein the tunnel require a ventilation system. However, different meteorological conditions at the portals or buoyancy forces often lead to air movements in the tunnel. The kinetic energy generated in this way could be converted into electrical energy by means of suitable turbines. The existing mechanical ventilation system is in principle not only able to generate an air flow, but also (with the appropriate electrical equipment) in turbine / generator operation to generate electrical energy from an air flow (e.g.like a wind turbine). Basically, it should be noted that the idea of generating electricity from air flows in tunnels is nothing new. Rough estimates have shown that the potential for converting kinetic energy into electrical energy is only in a small order of magnitude. However, in the course of the necessity of generating electrical energy from sustainable sources, such concepts are worth to be subjected to a detailed check for feasibility.
Effective start/end date1/06/2231/05/23


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