Octopus tentacles, Wolverine skin, Kegel muscles and your liver; all the best things are regenerative. To that list, you can now add SEPTA subway brakes. Three months ago, SEPTA went live with a big ol’ array of batteries all stacked up at a substation in Kensington on the Market-Frankford line.
Regenerative braking is nothing new, the hipsters were into it way before it was cool. Your Prius and almost 500 SEPTA busses and even the FML subway cars are already equipped with “regen” brakes and onboard batteries to provide some boost. But the game changer here is the wayside storage. By shooting all that power up the third rail and storing it in a big ol’ Juice box in Kensington, SEPTA can not only use it to schlep your fat ass into Olde City, but sell it back to PECO so they can send it out to Bleu Martini where DJ SuperDouche can use it to power his turntables. The energy can also be strategically doled out around town to keep peak demands from fucking with your breakers.
When you think of cutting edge public transportation systems, you pretty much go: Tokyo, London, Seattle, (if Paul Rudd had been allowed to give people great coffee and great music so they’d get out of their cars and onto his Supertrain). But none of those cities — in fact, none in the world — have the cutting edge wayside storage battery system that we have.
SEPTA has partnered with local energy management mavens Viridity to design and install this first in the world, pilot project, funded “in part through a 2010 Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority (PEDA) grant, as well as with support from Ben Franklin Technology Partners.” The system installed now will generate around $190,000 in savings and has performed well enough to green light further installations funded by a $1.5M federal grant. Mo’ Batteries means mo’ money.
Yeah, Seattle is one of the fittest ‘burgs in America, and we’re only a few years removed from being FatCity. But rolling out this new deal will actually work in our favor. You see, Force = Mass x Acceleration, and the El can get a quite massive during peak hours, so order a second cheesesteak, y’know, for the environment.
“But what about smartcards?” you ask?
Why you gotta be a dick? Can’t you just enjoy this good thing?
– Adam Brodsky
Adam Brodsky, is, in no particular order, a World Record Holding Folksinger, Writer, Baseball fan, and Beer League First Baseman who hits for average. His Novel will be out when he fucking finishes it, so get off his back! You can follow him @adambrodsky