Think about the number of steps you take in a single day. I wouldn’t even want to start counting mine and I mostly walk from my car to work and back. What if we could harness the power of those steps into an energy source? That is exactly the question Laurence Kembell-Cook sought to answer when he developed his “Pavegen” tile.
The top of this tile is made from 100% recycled rubber from old tires, and the base is made of 80% recycled materials. The tiles are durable enough to be used in an outdoor environment, and are even waterproof. When walked upon, the tile flexes and captures the kinetic energy from the step and stores the energy in a lithium polymer battery or is converted into 2.1 watt-hours of electricity. If installed in a heavily trafficked area, the tiles will convert enough kinetic energy to power area lighting, signage, or alarms.
When walked upon, a luminaire in the center of the tile lights up to engage the user in the electricity generation process. In one case study, the tiles were even used as a portable dance floor and the luminaries were used in the lighting of the dance floor.
The tiles have been installed in test projects for the last two years around the UK. This year, “Pavegen” has gotten its first commercial contract from the Westfield Stratford City Shopping Centre. The Centre plans to install a grid of “Pavegens” in a main outdoor crossing between the mall and the London Main Stadium for the 2012 Olympics. Based on the performance of the walkway, the Centre will work up to using the “Pavegens” to power the entire mall lighting system.
Lawrence Kembell-Cook has won many honors including being voted the “Best New Innovation” at last year’s Innovation Future Zone at Ecobuild and the “Big Idea” category of the UK’s Observer Ethical Awards this year, among others. With new investors and first commercial contract, maybe soon “Pavegen” will even start to be used in application in the United States.
For even more information on this new technology, you can visit the “Pavegen” website: