Published on January 10th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan4
Generating Power from Sidewalks
January 10th, 2012 by Zachary Shahan
I almost wrote on these cool energy-producing sidewalks in October when I was writing a post for MyEnergy on kinetic energy. We’ve written on kinetic energy many times here on CleanTechnica, as you can see from this excerpt of that MyEnergy post (note: the first link and 4 others are not stories on our site, but the rest are):
In Electric Vehicles (EVs): EVs are highly efficient largely because of their use of kinetic energy. They capture the kinetic energy that is often lost as heat when braking and it is sent back to the battery of the car.
Buses, Trains, and Garbage Trucks: Implementing the same idea as above, school buses, subway trains, shipping trucks, and even garbage trucks are beginning to test out and use kinetic energy from braking.
Speed Bumps: I haven’t heard of anything on this since 2009, but it seemed to be the year of speed bumps being used to create electricity. Burger King announced that it would be capturing the kinetic energy of speed bumps that year, as did the UK and leading UK supermarket chain Sainsbury.
Your Shoes: Researchers at Louisiana Tech University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison are each working on kinetic energy technology that will allows people to generate electricity from walking, from their shoes.
(There’s also the fun sOccket soccer ball.)
Now, though, back to the application at hand….
PaveGen is making sidewalks that include little slabs that produce electricity, using kinetic energy from people stepping on them.
“The slabs will see their first commercial use on a pathway between the Westfield Stratford City mall and the London Olympic stadium,” Chris Keenan writes over on sister site Green Building Elements. “Though only 20 tiles will be used, an expected 30 million people will use that path in its first year – overall they will provide enough power for half of the mall’s outdoor lighting.”
Of course, this technology is not super efficient (yet), but when you have the opportunity to create electricity almost without any effort or change to the environment, why not? They’re also pretty cool-looking.
And, if you can place such tiles in a busy place, the electricity created can be significant.
Images via PaveGen
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