Thermal Energy Harvesting from Asphalt Roadway Pavement

  • Utpal DattaEmail author
  • Samer Dessouky
  • A. T. Papagiannakis
Conference paper
Part of the Sustainable Civil Infrastructures book series (SUCI)


This study is aimed at developing energy harvesting system for electrical power generation from asphalt pavement roadways. Energy harvesting technologies from roadways is a new research arena which involves technologies that capture the wasted heat energy in pavements, accumulate and store it for later use without depletion of natural resources. The temperature of pavement surface rises up to 50 °C to 55 °C in the summer (depends on geographic location) due to the effect of the solar radiation. Soil temperature is consistently stabilized at 27 °C creating a thermal gradient profile across pavement layer structure. This Thermal gradient is a potential source of energy that can be harvested. The proposed system collects heat energy from the pavement surface and transfers to thermoelectric generators module along the pavement side. Field demonstration, laboratory testing and finite element simulation suggested that electric energy is approximately 10 mW per thermoelectric module (6.4 cm × 6.4 cm dimension). At scalable system, the produced energy can be used for LED street illuminating or empowering roadway monitoring devices inserted within the pavement in off-grid areas. Furthermore. Changes in the response of these sensors can be used as a means of monitoring the health of the pavement layers, where these sensors are installed. This paper demonstrates finite element simulation on the capability of the proposed system and preliminary findings on the output power generation.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Utpal Datta
    • 1
    Email author
  • Samer Dessouky
    • 1
  • A. T. Papagiannakis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of Texas at San AntonioSan AntonioUSA

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