Here’s a bright idea. British company Pavegen Systems has created a technology that turns footsteps into useable energy.

A single footstep doesn’t generate that much energy, but by installing Pavegen’s technology in a heavily trafficked area….like, say, a shopping mall…the Pavegen slabs can generate light up a nearly 2-million-square-foot room.

The company is installing them at the new Westfield Stratford Citymall in London. The 1.9-million-square-foot supercenter is scheduled to open later this year with 300 retail tenants, restaurants and food markets, a hotel, a bowling alley, a casino, office space and transportation to the 2012 Olympic games in London.

Hat tip to Metropolis magazine for this one.

Pavegen’s slabs look like a light installed flush with the floor—and they light up with each step, letting the walker know they’re contributing kinetic energy

Metropolis’ writer blithely described it as “piezoelectricity” as in “piezoelectricity is a well-established form of energy derived from applied pressure, such as footsteps.”

How Pavegen Systems works (pay no attention to the “next button,” this is just a screen cap):


How Pavegen Systems looks:

The Pavegen website has a few nifty videos showing the slabs in use during a dance demo:

Plus, the company installed a few pavers at a British elementary school for a project that taught the kids something about alternative energy sources (and, presumably, helped offset the school’s energy usage).

Published June 28, 2011 at