Kinetic energy and the urban landscape, part 3

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Pavegen power generating slabs

Pavegen power generating slabs

Having considered the use of solar power and wind power as sources of energy for the urban landscape I was intrigued by the recent publicity for kinetic energy.

Pavegen has designed a slab which moves (<5mm) with each footstep which lands on it. The slab harnesses the kinetic energy, converting it to electricity which is stored by lithium batteries contained within the slab or supplied immediately to street or pavement lights.

Robaid reports that:

The average square of pavement produces about 2.1 watts of electricity. And according to Pavegen, any one square of pavement in a high-foot traffic area can see 50,000 steps a day. Based on this data, only five units of Pavegen pavement can be enough to keep the lights on at a bus stop all night.

And says:

The system from Pavegen makes a lot of sense in very busy public areas as it will constantly be generating energy which will no doubt mean the system pays for itself very quickly and then continues to cut energy costs, the need for extended power wires and carbon emissions.

Pavegen isn’t the only idea focused on kinetic energy.

Piezoelectric flooring, Tokyo

Piezoelectric flooring, Tokyo

JR East has installed a piezoelectric floor at their Tokyo Station which harvests the kinetic energy generated by footsteps. They expect the 25 square metre installation to generate 1,400kW/sec per day, which would be sufficient to operate the automatic ticket gates and display systems.

And there’s POWERleap which is another piezoelectric flooring system that generates electricity. There are applications in public spaces, retail environments and offices, although it’s the dance floor one that garnered most attention.

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