Being the host of 2012 London Olympics, the city is endeavouring hard to prove itself through its much reformation in different sectors, particularly in the field of electricity generation where the paving slabs would help generate electricity by utilising energy from the footsteps of people.
PaveGen’s recycled rubber paving slab, is all set to harvest kinetic energy from the effect of people’s footsteps. It produces instant tiny bursts of electricity when someone steps onto them. This kind of electricity is instantly transferred to nearby appliances. Main characteristic of the stabs is that they can store energy for up to three days in an on-board battery.
The creator, Laurence Kemball-Cook hopes for fast growth in the commercial application. At first, the company will install 20 tiles along the central crossing between London’s Olympic Stadium. The next spot will be Westfield Stratford City mall. Hence, the application will fulfil the mall’s outdoor lighting requirements. The company hopes to increase more than 30 million customers in 2012.
According to the design, the green stabs can compress five millimetres when someone steps on them, although each step can light a LED – powered street lamp for 30 seconds. PaveGen declined to disclose the accurate mechanism responsible for transferring absorbed kinetic energy into electricity.
Kemball-Cook said that the tiles are a real-world “crowdsourcing” application, harnessing small contributions from a large number of individuals. He added that the slabs can generate more electricity if they are fixed at a big outdoor festival.
Many young investors believe that PaveGen systems are useful in case of providing power to off-grid appliances such as illuminated street maps, public lighting and advertising. These tiles can be installed in places of dense human traffic such as school corridors, city centres and underground stations.
The PaveGen paving slab is made of a low-energy LED that lights up when someone put footstep onto it, depicting the energy transfer idea to the users. However, it consumes up to 5% of the energy from each footstep.
Richard Miller, head of sustainability at the UK’s government-funded Technology Strategy Board said that the system of switching on light with each footstep has very much interested him in the design.
Kemball-Cook said that the cost of a slab will be very high unless the company doesn’t start mass production. He pointed out that the company has already bagged many awards such as the Big Idea category at the UK’s Ethical Business Awards and the Shell LiveWire Grand Ideas Award.
PaveGen will get finance from a group of London-based angel investors, although the investment sum is kept hidden.