Invented by British design engineer Laurence Kemball-Cook, Pavegen flooring creates off-grid electricity by harvesting kinetic energy from footsteps and converting it into electricity.
The paving slabs are designed for public areas with heavy footfall, where the energy saved could be used to power items nearby, such as street lighting or shop signs. Each step on a Pavegen slab contains enough energy to power an LED streetlamp for 30 seconds. The energy conserved can also be stored in lithium polymer batteries underneath the floor to be used at a later date.
Five per cent of the harvested energy is used to illuminate a spotlight on the slab itself, creating a positive interaction and encouraging users to engage with the technology. Studies show that 30% more people will walk on the Pavegen slabs when they contain lights.
Pavegen technology has already been installed in two UK schools, and 12 tiles were installed in West Ham underground station during the London 2012 Olympic games. The technology has received several accolades, including the Brit Insurance Design Award 2011, and an award from the UK government’s Trade & Investment Department.
For more green technology solutions, see the Stylus report Self-Powering Architecture. For more inspirational lighting concepts, see Stylus’ coverage of Light + Building 2012 and our profile on Cinimod Studio. Also look out for the Industrial Design report Life-Enhancing Lighting, coming soon.