When builder/inventor/engineer Jim Nigg set out to create a start-up business in clean energy, it wasn’t just to give lip service to ideas already floating around in the atmosphere. It was to make a difference in our world and in our daily lives. And, his company, Constructis (Construct Innovate Solve), is on the threshold of doing just that—not just in our nation but around the globe.
Nigg and his team of global experts have developed a durable rumble strip box that when installed under roadways will mechanically harvest electricity from vehicle traffic.
Clean, storm-resilient, with zero carbon emission, this unique patented invention —using kinetic energy— has garnered the attention of everyone from traffic engineers to environmentalists, and because of its many potential applications it has been named a semi-finalist in the 2022 Pepperdine University Graziadio Business School’s Most Fundable Companies competition, in the top 100 out of over 4,000 submissions.
Says Nigg: “I knew there had to be solutions to urban issues such as power outages, flooding streets, first responder emergencies, safety, security—so much more to help make our infrastructure smarter and safer—and our project has been seven years in the making. Our patented Roadway Energy X (acronym REX) systems can be installed in one day and are designed to be highway compliant, motorcycle- and pedestrian safe. They are directly cost competitive with solar and wind. The genesis of this idea goes back to 1994 while I was working for WADOT in Seattle.”
With this innovative platform, motion and mass energy are converted into electricity, stored in vehicle batteries, and power optional systems such as traffic signaling sensors. Effectively harvesting energy when vehicles are slowing down; collecting and recycling energy before it’s wasted on braking.
Adds Nigg: “As everyone knows, gridlock has become more and more constant and stress-inducing, so we designed this system to help monitor and improve traffic patterns and flow; to communicate with electric vehicles and charge them; to increase safety, and help protect the traveling public.”
As one interested community leader observed: “Years from now, people will look back and realize that in the year 2022, we had a modern-day Thomas Edison in our midst!”
Nigg chuckles at that comparison: “I wonder if in those days everybody in the general public told Mr. Edison, ‘Good luck with getting that light bulb thing launched. Let us know when you’re done. Candles work just fine.’”