An electrical power generation system comprises a variable capacitor and a power source. The electrical power generation system is configured to generate electric power via movements of the rail. The power source is used in the form of a generator to prime the variable capacitor that effectively multiplies the priming energy of the power source by extracting energy from the passing vehicle.
By alternately priming the variable capacitor using charge from the power source and discharging it at a later time in a cyclic manner to change the capacitance, a significantly large amount of electrical energy is produced due to change in capacitance than from the power source itself.
Traditionally, operation data related to railroad traffic and railroad assets is gathered at manned junctions, such as a rail yard or a rail depot. By way of example, railroad workers often inspect rails for damage and loading conditions. As yet another example, railroad workers often inspect and inventory the incoming and outgoing railcars, to manage and facilitate the flow of traffic on a railroad network. However, railroad networks often span thousands of miles and traverse through sparsely populated and remote regions.
Unfortunately, traditional automated devices generally obtain operating power from an external power source, which is not generally available in remote areas. That is, the automated device receives operating power that is generated at a remote location and that is delivered over a power grid, and coupling the grid to the device can be a costly proposition, especially in remote areas. In certain instance, local power sources, such as batteries, have been employed.
In any event, even if a local or external power source is provided, these power sources may not provide a cost effective mechanism for producing sufficient levels of power. Therefore, there is need for a system and method for improving electric power generation with respect to rail systems.