Generating power from footsteps.By Pavegen Systems
Energy is one of the defining challenges of our age. The pressures of population growth and increasing consumption per capita, demand that we develop a wide range of different approaches to energy generation and efficient consumption. PaveGen is an elegant example of such an approach: a paving slab which converts the energy from people’s footsteps into electrical power.
At four years old the technology is still in its infancy, but trials are demonstrating its potential. A set of slabs installed at West Ham tube station in preparation for the 2012 Olympics registered over a million footsteps, each step producing enough power to light an LED-powered street-lamp for 30 seconds. It has also been successfully installed in a number of London offices and schools, and harvested energy from the runners in this year’s Paris Marathon.
The slabs could also be a valuable component in a "Smart City" approach to managing urban environments. In addition to being used for autonomously powered lighting, which lights only when people are nearby, they can also be used as a data source. Each slab is able to record footfall data then use its own power to transmit this wirelessly via a dedicated API, providing valuable real-time information about how and when people move around transport hubs, workplaces, shopping areas or sporting venues.
Image courtesy of PaveGen
Last updated: 09th of May, 2014