1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Convert Extreme sound into usable energy

  1. Jul 1, 2012 #1
    Our backyard backs up to a major freeway u need hear protection to stand at the back gate for to long we r less then 20 feet from the edge of the road id like to turn this extreme noise into usable energy.......... is there anyway to convert it into electricity or use some kind of aperatise to convert it into heat and then power some kind of a generator to make the electricity or something in those works?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 1, 2012 #2
    ah.. no... sorry but just give up on that
  4. Jul 1, 2012 #3
    Sound power is small.... you can convert sound into an electrical current, that's what microphones do. But in order to have 1 W of power from an engine 20 feet away you'd need a microphone several square meters big, and with 100% efficiency (totally unrealistic). I know something about the price of normal microphones and I don't think it's a good idea.... :D
  5. Jul 2, 2012 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I'm guessing results on the order of microwatts. Do you consider that usable?
  6. Jul 2, 2012 #5


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Silentkitty2, Welcome to Physics Forums!  :)

    The above responses are correct: you would not be able to generate any significant electrical power from that noise.

    That noise is not good for you and your family. You could search using Google for “health-related effects of freeway noise”. For a good overview of the subject and what can be done, see:

    "Highway traffic noise barriers"

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook