Floor tiles designed to keep the lights on

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Human footsteps could play a part in solving the world’s energy problems, thanks to an energy saving floor tile, designed for use in offices, shops and public buildings.

The floor tile is the invention of Laurence Kemball-Cook, a 27 year old entrepreneur from London. Laurence’s company, Pavegen Systems, makes floor tiles that generate electricity through being walked upon.

The weight of the person on the tile, plus a movement of 5mm in the tile generates an electrical current. So far the tiles have been mainly used to power lighting but there are other possible applications.

The tiles are intended for use as flooring in places with a high level of footfall, making them ideal for offices and public buildings.

These ingenious floor tiles have already been tested in some pretty high-profile locations, such as one of the main transport hubs for the 2012 London Olympic Games. Over one million people walked over the tiles as they passed through West Ham tube station on their way to the Olympic Park, generating sufficient power to keep the station’s lights on.

Pavegen claim that their tiles will be no more expensive to install than other types of flooring when fitted in new buildings, although the cost for fitting the tiles onto existing floors will be higher. Laurence Kemball-Cook said: “We see our technology as a key component in the smart cities of the future.

“Energy efficiency isn’t just about how big your wind farm is, it is also about reducing the consumption of current electronics.”

We think the idea behind these floor tiles is very clever – wouldn’t it be great if strolling around the office would cover the cost of keeping the lights on?

Posted August 25, 2014

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