Energy Cast Podcast: Kinetic kilowatts

REX Unit
A closer look at the REX unit above ground. Each unit is fitted with batteries and sensors, enabling a multipurpose device that can meter out energy to the grid.

Energy Cast is a podcast featuring some of the top experts across all links in the energy industry chain, including electric vehicles, renewables, generation and more! Jay Dauenhauer created the show and has been hosting Energy Cast for several years.

Click below to listen to the full episode:

I first came across Constructis through E4 Carolinas, and this company was unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

The company’s Roadway Energy X Platform, or “REX” absorbs energy from the downward motion of a vehicle pressing down on its rumble strips.  The company’s founder, Jim Nigg, tells me that a normal car traveling at 5 mph can generate 1,100 watts of energy.

Each REX Unit contains batteries and sensors for self-monitoring.  These batteries can store energy, providing a more constant stream of energy to the grid.

A product like this fascinating because it could essentially be placed on any road surface.  Though I came into the interview expecting the company would only be considering a multi-lane mega-highways, Jim tells me they are actually focused on slower velocities, such as Interstate exit ramps, parking garages, and border crossings.  Plus, the current model has not addressed the issue of “ramping” when a vehicle crosses it at high speeds.

The product is essentially ready for commercial use.  Constructis is currently on the cusp of operations, and we spoke a great deal about the challenges of securing funding for a product that makes sense, but has no history.

I look forward to the day when I drive over a rumble strip on a busy street and know I’m giving a little back to the grid. (This podcast originally aired in June 2018).

Dauenhauer is a member of the DISTRIBUTECH International advisory committees. Join us October 28-29 for the virtual DISTRIBUTECH+ series!

This month’s focus is on Renewables, Energy Storage and How Utilities are Preparing for a Sustainable Future. Register for the sessions here – you don’t want to miss out!

Energy Cast Podcast is hosted biweekly by Jay Dauenhauer.

Learn more about the podcast here.

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Jay Dauenhauer is a project manager based in Charlotte, NC. He currently serves as a PM developing transmission projects. For the past 7 years, Jay led water treatment and recycling projects for Oil & Gas operations. Jay's first foray in the energy sector was as a media analyst for TXU Energy during the $45B leveraged buyout of that utility in 2007. He then served as Executive Director of the Clean Coal Technology Foundation of Texas, working with stakeholders to pass clean energy legislation for the state. A Louisiana native and proud graduate of LSU, his career began as a TV news producer before transitioning into the energy sector. Back behind the mic, Jay hopes to bring his experience working across several energy sectors to you in a program designed to be accessible to both the public and industry insiders.

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