Can you imagine the power of 50,000 steps a day? Well, Laurence Kembell-Cook, the director of Pavegen Systems imagined it and created Pavegen tiles - a low carbon solution that aims to bring kinetic energy harvesting to the streets. Not surprisingly, the tile is receiving a great deal of attention as a solution for power-hungry cities with a lot of walking traffic.
Designed for use in in high foot-traffic areas, the tiles convert the kinetic energy from footsteps of pedestrians into renewable electricity, which can be stored in a lithium polymer battery or used to power low-wattage, off-grid applications like street lighting, displays, speakers, alarms, signs, and advertising.
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Each time someone steps on the tile, a central light illuminates, "connecting" the person to the part they play in producing the 2.1 watts of electricity per hour the tiles can generate (and providing self-sufficient lighting for pedestrian crossings).
The tiles are made from nearly 100-percent recycled materials (mostly rubber) and some marine grade stainless steel. They can be retrofitted to existing structures and are waterproof as well as designed to withstand outdoor conditions.
Pavegen tiles were used as a dance floor at Bestival on the Isle-of-Wright and are currently being tested in East London. They have been successfully installed in a school corridor where they are currently being monitored for durability and performance while helping to power the building. Speaking of durability, each tile is claimed to have a life of approximately 20 million steps or 5 years.
In September 2011 Pavegen received its first commercial order for the London 2012 Olympics Site where they will be used in the crossing between the Olympic stadium and the Westfield Stratford City Shopping Center.
Here's the company's product demo: