Every day, millions of people walk the busy sidewalks and streets of cities. Now, imagine a future in which the energy of their footsteps is transformed into electricity to power urban infrastructure like streetlights or stop lights.
The future for this type of technology is now, as London-based startup Pavegen has already developed tiling that’s made from 95 percent recycled tires, and can harvest energy from people’s footsteps, turning it into electricity. Click to read the rest of this story on Design News.
spot on.. they convert human energy to electrical energy. to walk on this floor one need to consume more energy as food than what he is used to now. again, after 1 hour of moderate workout at the gym, i spend like ~400 calories , which converts to just 0.000464888889 kilowatt hours. assuming a 20% conversion efficiency for piezo crystals, the numbers will be abysmal.
also this is not the first time this is being tried.. they tried this in tokyo/israel
I would like to see numbers for the energy that can be harvested, and the capital costs needed.
The article is muddled: " 8 watts of kinetic energy can be converted over the duration of each footstep" Watt is a unit of power, not energy.
I did a similar calculation myself recently. I work out on a stationary bike that shows the power that I expend. I typically work out for 15 minutes at 100W power. The energy expended is 0.1KW * 0.25 Hours = 0.025 KWH, which is worth about $0.0025 at the current retail price for electricity, assuming 100% of the energy could be converted to electricity. That is very little value. And it is a fairly intence work out - much more intense than walking. And that raises the question that was previously asked - what will be the effect on the walker? My guess is that if more than a couple of watts or so of energy is harvested from a single walker, people will start to complain or will find a less tiring route to walk.
Great idea! Questions are whether 5mm is noticeable to people who walk on it. Will it cause any imbalance to some people? If it does, it might become a liability.
Nonetheless, the idea is definitely worth exploring. Who knows, maybe after a couple generation, if not this first generation, will become part of the power source of our daily lives.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.