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In an unprecidented act of bald-faced stealing, the new Sainsburys store in Gloucester has installed a system of energy-pinching road surfaces to power its tills and freezers! :eek:

BBC NEWS | Business | Green move for city's supermarket

I'd like to know if they've made it clear to their customers that they are stealing energy from them - effectively increasing prices without ever reaching for the price-gun (they don't use them any more, do they? :lol:). Is there an alternative entrance to the store that avoids this?

Does anyone live near the store? Can they confirm if theres an alternative entrace that avoids the energy trap? Is there a sign that says "Only come this way if you agree to us stealing from you"?

A quote from Sainsburys Chief Thief (sorry, Environment Manager):

"Not only are we the first to use such cutting-edge technology with our shoppers, but customers can now play a very active role in helping make their local shop greener, without extra effort or cost."

What makes me laugh is that they are promoting this as "green energy"!! Its green for Sainsburys alright, as its not costing them anything!!



Just in case anyone looks at this story and thinks "Hmm, what's this nutter on about - it's free/wasted energy anyway!"...think about it for a moment...

A car basically converts fuel energy (stored in the petrol or diesel that you pay for) into kinetic energy (movement). You pay for that fuel, so when Sainsburys come along and use some of the energy you've paid to create that's stealing in my book.

Its also hugely inefficeint - they'd be better off using a diesel generator in the back of the car park than this...but of course they'd have to pay for the fuel for that, wouldn't they?!

I can't understand why there isn't a petition to get this scheme scrapped forthwith!!! :rant:
 

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If, and only if, the energy trap is placed somewhere where the car would be needing to brake anyway, then you could be wrong.

Otherwise, you're entirely correct, it's not at all green, and it is indeed just stealing energy from their customers.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If, and only if, the energy trap is placed somewhere where the car would be needing to brake anyway, then you could be wrong.
I get where you're coming from Bazza, but regardless of its positioning this system is ALWAYS stealing energy.

You could design a system that harnesses 'wasted' braking energy (which this one does not) but ultimately its still stealing - you paid for that energy to be produced (transformed, strictly speaking) and someone else is using it. And its not even for the 'greater good' in this case, its purely to help a private company boost its profits!!
 

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They haven't actually explaned how this contraption works though. Presumably becuase they think we are all too thick to understand it.

I'm guessing you drive over something (like the ubiquitous supermarked speed-bump) which deforms under the vehicle's weight as it passes over and this forces fluid to drive a generator. I can't think of any other way of extracting useful energy from a customer's car short of putting it on rollers, which might get noticed.
 
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What makes me laugh is these huge multi-national
retailers shipping produce around the world by
air, sea and road and then sticking a few solar
panels, wind turbines or this thing to power
the tills in their stores. Like that is going to help
cover for their real environmental impact.


Pathetic. :rolleyes:


Anyway, it's Gloucester. Who cares. :p
 

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Can't say I have a problem with that.
I have to slow down (and therefore speed up again) 3 times due to speed bumps getting into my local Sainsbury's so they are effectively wasting my fuel (and everone else's) anyway. Might as well get something back from it.

But if you are bothered and want to give them the metaphorical middle finger then the simple way round it is to exploit the laws of viscosity: the slower you drive over it the less energy it will be able to extract (or steal) from you.
This will also cause big tailbacks, **** everyone of and then the management will have to remove it.:thumbs:
 
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Good idea i think,

They are just replacing normal speed bumps anyway so dosnt really make a differance to the driver.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
They aren't 'speed bumps', it's more like a grey plate embedded in the ground.

To my mind its like that old Superman/urban legend of becoming a millionaire by stealing £0.001 from every bank account in the world - each individual might go 'oh well, never mind' but its still stealing, isn't it?

Or look at it another way - if Sainsburys announced that in order to be 'greener' there would only be 0.999 litres of fuel delivered for every litre you pay for, would that be met with such acceptance?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Can't say I have a problem with that.
I have to slow down (and therefore speed up again) 3 times due to speed bumps getting into my local Sainsbury's so they are effectively wasting my fuel (and everone else's) anyway. Might as well get something back from it.
I kinda see what you're saying, but what are you getting back for it? Do you really think they'll cut any prices in-store to compensate or is it more likely to go into the share-holders back pockets?
 

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I think youre talkin utter ballox!........"Stealing?!"

You have already lost that energy. You aint gettin it back. Its outa here.
Same as the gases you and your car excrete. Nitrogen for one.

If you are going to whinge about a supermarket "recycling" your lost energy.... then you have to complain about people "recycling" your wasted Nitrogen. I have made a small list of the common uses for your stolen gas. Hope it helps you figure out who you need to write to in complaint:

NITROGEN'S COMMON USES INCLUDE:

To preserve the freshness of packaged or bulk foods (by delaying rancidity and other forms of oxidativ damage)
In ordinary incandescent light bulbs as an inexpensive alternative to argon.
On top of liquid explosives as a safety measure.
The production of electronic parts such as transistors, diodes, and integrated circuits.
Dried and pressurized, as a dielectric gas for high voltage equipment .
The manufacturing of stainless steel.
Use in military aircraft fuel systems to reduce fire hazard.
Filling automotive and aircraft tires due to its inertness and lack of moisture or oxidative qualities, as opposed to air, though this is not necessary for consumer automobiles.

These big companies are at least making a token gesture toward the environment. Its only a bit here, and a bit there, but we gotta start somewhere. The Tree huggers wont make much of an impact on their own. We all need to get on board...... starting with "donating" your wasted energy.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I think youre talkin utter ballox!........"Stealing?!"

You have already lost that energy.
Please enlighten me as to how this "lost" energy is "found" by this device?

In the simplest terms, does a car use more or less fuel going up an incline?

In effect, for the period you are travelling over these devices you are travelling uphill (albeit an extremely small one) and therefore using more fuel. Its a simple matter of physics!

And on your point about Nitrogen - all of these uses do not require me to use more resources (i.e. spend more money) in order for them to work. They are recycling already present waste products, this system is not.
 
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Please enlighten me as to how this "lost" energy is "found" by this device?

In the simplest terms, does a car use more or less fuel going up an incline?

In effect, for the period you are travelling over these devices you are travelling uphill (albeit an extremely small one) and therefore using more fuel. Its a simple matter of physics!
I kinda' get where you are coming from now, they are making you use more energy to give to them to power their tills.
 

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You are assuming its built into a speed bump. It would seem more logical, and would "steal" more energy if cars crossed the plates at a slightly higher speed, producing more Kw.

"As a vehicle passes over the plates, the plates are pushed down by the weight of the vehicle. The pushed plates create rocking motions under the road's surface that turn generators, which is redirected back to the store. Drivers feel no disturbance when driving over the rounded-edge plates, and the system does not affect vehicles' fuel efficiency."

"The plates are designed to be installed at points where cars are braking, such that the equipment "scavenges" power from the vehicles' kinetic (motion) energy as they slow down."

The only way that could be stealing is if you have KERS fitted to your motor.

If it does anything, its going to slow the car. As you are already in a braking area, its either going to use "less" brake force, hence less brake pads, or of you use the engine to brake, it will use "less" fuel.
 

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you've gotta be rich or a mug to shop at sainsburys anyway
Cheapest within 20 miles of Alnwick. Cheapest by a long way. Nearest Tesco's is 35 miles and Asda is 25 miles.

I like Sainsburys..... They have the speed bumps just wide enough apart so you can drive between them......
So I dont feel mugged by the giant canned and fresh foods corporation. :thumbs:
 
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round here sainsburys is only topped by waitrose as the most expensive supermarket
 
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