Sunday January 31 2010 / Science & Technology

A UK company called Pavegen has developed a system to generate renewable energy by harnessing the footsteps of people in busy pedestrian areas.


They have developed a new concrete slab to be placed in areas that see heavy foot traffic and every time someone steps on the slab it generates a small amount of kinetic energy that is captured and stored. In a busy area that means regular energy generation every few minutes or seconds. Many slabs in busy locations could generate a significant amount of energy.

The high traffic areas in subway systems are an idea location for the slabs

The pavegen slab moves about 5mm (1/4") from each footstep. The kinetic energy of that movement is converted into electricity via a patented Piezo electronic systems, and that electricity is stored in the slab to power a variety of applications.

The design of the slab makes it quite versatile and pleasant to step on. The upper layer is a 5mm soft, flexible material, and inside the slab a battery can be used to store the energy. Alternatively they can be connected to devices to directly use the energy, for example, street lights.

The slabs can be located anywhere there is space to lay one; so locations where you can guarantee regular foot falls, such as entrance stalls at a subway station or the entrance of a shopping mall, could guarantee a reliable source of power. In terms of how much energy is generated Pavegen rate a single slab at 2.1 watts per hour in a busy area.

For more information, please visit www.pavegen.com

Suggested by
Carlos Torres