New flooring tech generates electricity through your footsteps

2014-04-25-walking_jr_604

The tech tracks data for « smart-cities, » and points that you earn by walking on the flooring can be donated to a charity or help fund a student’s tuition.

 

THE FUTURE OF FLOORING?

Pavegen, a British clean-tech company, is taking an innovative approach to sustainability by generating energy from something that most people do every day: walk.

The technology is basically a multifunctional, custom flooring system that is outfitted with a wireless transmitter, which allows the data from the tiles to be captured, and generators that harness kinetic energy as people walk. That sounds complicated, but the way that it works is simple: As people walk over the flooring, the pressure causes generators in the flooring to vertically displace. This creates kinetic energy through electro-magnetic induction, and that energy can then be used to power lighting or whatever else is needed.

In short, the company is converting the kinetic energy from your footsteps into electricity.

In an interview with Futurism, Pavegen CEO Laurence Kemball-Cook noted that this is a new area of energy production, one which comes with a lot of exciting possibilities.

“When a person walks, they generate 5 watts of energy continuously, so you are, we all are, a 5-watt power-feed. Now imagine 10 people,” he continued, “that’s 50 watts of energy continuously.”

That may not seem like an exorbitant amount of energy, but it is enough to supply power for a number of needs. For example, the technology can be used to illuminate paths as pedestrians walk upon them, which could potentially curb crime.

And it does more than just supply light as someone walks across the tiles. “You can store the energy from people,” Kemball-Cook noted. “Let’s say you have 40,000 people an hour passing through Grand Central Station, that energy is stored in batteries, and at night time, the power comes on. So municipalities, train stations, offices, schools—anywhere with lots of people walking — that’s perfect for us.”

The tech can also be used to supply power to radios and a number of other devices.

The flooring system’s design, which currently features a triangular shape, is meant to easily integrate into public spaces, as well as maximize energy capture and output. The latest iteration of the technology is said to be more efficient, durable, and 200 times more powerful than the initial version, which was created in 2009 and featured a square design.

Source: Futurism

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