When talking about energy harvesting switches, the first applications that one thinks of are primarily for Smart, building and industrial automation applications. However, a ZF Friedrichshafen AG customer, Westcotec, has developed an application for traffic signs using the ZF energy harvesting switch.

This new traffic warning sign is designed to help horse riders cross busy rural roads. The riders have energy harvesting handheld transmitters, and can switch the traffic signs on when approaching the road to warn car drivers of horses crossing. Both wireless and battery-less, the mechanical actuation of the switch generates enough electrical energy to transmit an RF signal to the traffic sign and activate it. The lights then flash for 60 seconds and can be activated multiple times where groups of horses are crossing the road. The same idea was implemented to herd animals across a road. When moving the animals, the twin amber flashing beacons are triggered by the farmer with a push button on a hand held unit containing the energy harvesting switch. 

With this, one can see how ZF’s range of energy harvesting products can apply to a versatile array of sectors. For the full product range and their relevant applications and specifications, click here.