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Energy from Footsteps

With sustained growth in the population of urban regions, demand for power has increased drastically.

Higher costs and less availability of fossil fuels means the need for innovation in harnessing alternative energy sources is urgently needed.

One British company is working hard to make use of the urban “crowds” to generate power.

A floor tile has been developed by Pavegen Systems Ltd that harvests energy from footsteps. The idea has enormous application when we consider the number of people who walk through a given area such as shopping malls, subways, and pedestrian paths everyday.

The tile itself is green in colour, and is made of rubber and recycled materials. Each tile can generate up to 3 watts of electricity per hour, converting kinetic energy released through the footsteps of passersby into electricity. They are designed to withstand any weather conditions.

Interestingly the tiles can be fitted to any existing floor or structure, and can be installed temporarily. When excess power is generated through the tile it can be stored for future use, with the help of a lithium polymer battery. To prevent uneven power transmission, delivery filters and feedback sensors are used so that this system can be trusted 24×7.

Currently the company is looking for places where these tiles can fetch maximum power such as dance floors or school playgrounds. Pavegen Systems Ltd secured a prestigious contract to install their tiles in significant crossings during the 2012 London Olympics.

This may not be a complete solution to the looming energy crisis, but it shows how innovation and inspiration will drive change.

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