The path to Olympic glory
Back in 2009, UK paver company Pavegen introduced special tiles capable of capturing kinetic energy from footsteps and saving it for immediate or future use. Neat idea, right? In 2010, the tiles were installed in a school where the 1,100 students generated enough electricity to power lighting applications.
Going for the gold
And now, in 2012, the tiles have been installed in a walkway at the West Ham tube station, a major access point for the London 2012 Olympic games. How are they holding up under Olympic pressures? Can they deliver? Check out the live video feed and energy stats on the Pavegen tiles.
How it all started
How do these little miracles work? When pressure is applied from a footstep, the paver tile contracts slightly, enough to produce 5 to 7 joules of energy, generating 5 to 7 watts of electricity. A tiny fraction (less than 1%) of the energy goes to illuminate the tile, and the rest is stored in on-board batteries. That harnessed energy is later used for lighting, powering advertising signage and sound applications.
Created by Pavegen founder Laurence Kemball-Cook, the tile’s surface is made from recycled rubber and the base is crafted from 80% recycled materials. They are waterproof and designed to withstand heavy traffic.
What’s next for these cool tiles? In September 2012, Pavegen will make their largest commercial debut inside London’s Westfield Stratford City shopping center.