Imagine having the ability to help power your manufacturing facility just by walking around. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well Pavegen, the company that makes electricity-generating flooring, has just released an updated version of its power-producing paving tile.
Their original model that was released in 2009 was limited to only being able to produce energy if a person stepped directly in the center of the tile and was much less efficient than their new model. Their new technology produced around 20 times more power per footstep than their previous system. The new model is able to produce 5 watts per step which could help power low-voltage off-grid applications or even lights inside a manufacturing facility.
It works by using the weight from footsteps to rotate a flywheel underneath the tile which will create energy through electromagnetic induction.
The way Pavegen was able to dramatically increase the amount of energy generated with its triangular design and generators placed at each corner allows energy to be produced no matter where a person steps.
“The triangle allows us to make this articulated floor- We’re capturing probably about 20 times per footstep than previous systems.” Pavegen’s chief technology officer, Craig Webster said. bit.ly/1YlpWCG
Not only can these tiles produce energy, Pavegen had emphasized that these would be all around smart floors collecting and analyzing big data as people walk across them. For retail, the floors can analyze consumer patters in real-time by tracking foot traffic, in a manufacturing setting the tiles can give the plant manager a better idea of where their employees are.
As of now, Pavegen envisions their tiles being used to bring advertising campaigns to life or improve safety by powering off-grid lighting which would illuminate a pedestrians path as they walk. When it comes to a manufacturing facility, this off-grid lighting can also come in handy to help illuminate parts of a shop that are not used often helping to further reduce the energy bill each month.
Pavegen developed these tiles for public sidewalks and retail stores but as with any technology, it can have a much larger impact on other sectors as well. It is not clear how durable these tiles would be but their extraordinary potential to help cut energy costs could lead to manufacturers testing them out in their own factories and warehouses.
The thought of being able to produce energy just by walking is a truly innovative feat of design, engineering and technology. Not only will it help decrees energy costs, but it’s a great excuse to get up and go for a walk. As the new energy generating tile become more popular, there’s a good chance they will begin to pique the interest of manufacturers. Manufacturing is a notoriously energy hungry industry and manufacturers themselves are constantly looking for innovative ways to cut down on their energy consumption, Pevegen tiles could be the first step toward accomplishing this goal.