People-generated energy, and this is not a plot of Matrix franchise. in 2009 Lawrence Kemball-Cook, a graduate of Loughborough University, UK, has filed a patent and started up a company Pavegen. The company makes a 600mm x 450 mm tile, its surface of recycled tires. A typical footfall compresses the polymer surface by 5 mm and this motion generates electricity. According to the company’s data, each step could create up to 7W of 12V DC. Technology behind this invention is a guarded secret, but a quick sniff around the web hints it is of the similar nature to piezoelectric effect and induction.
Tiles are waterproof, certified according to British and EU electrical and safety standards. Generated electricity is then stored in a battery, and is activated at required intervals to light up a street, alley or a park. Pavegen stipulates that unlike solar and wind sources, there is no limitation to use a field of tiles within a city limits, and therefore efficiency of an installation is way optimal.
Paving a busy street in a bustling city is great, but what about the Middle East? Could this technology find its way here? 160 million legs marching through Dubai Mall yearly answer: yes, it could!
Images courtesy of http://www.freeimageslive.co.uk and Pavegen