A couple of years ago, we ran a story about Laurence Kembell-Cook's brilliant Pavegen floor tiles, which capture kinetic energy from footsteps and convert it to electricity. Now after two years of product testing and picking up a slew of awards across the U.K., Pavegen has received its first commercial order -- to light up the new Westfield Stratford City Shopping Centre!
With nearly 30 million shoppers a year, the Westfield Stratford City Shopping Centre has plenty of foot traffic. The mall plans to install a grid of Pavegens in a main crossing outdoors between the shopping centre and the London Main Stadium, which is known as the heaviest trafficked area. Depending on the walkway’s use, the grid will work its way up to powering the entire mall’s lighting system.
The Pavegen floor tiles flex a slight 5 millimeters when stepped on, capturing kinetic energy which is either stored in lithium polymer batteries beneath its surface or converted into 2.1 watt-hours of electricity and distributed throughout surrounding lights. The center of the tile illuminates when stepped upon, not only informing the passerby of their contribution to the environment but also encouraging the continuation of sustainable awareness and decisions. The first designs were aimed at illuminating small spaces like bus stops, ticket machines, refrigerators, and shop signs, but with a large number of Pavegens, the possibilities are nearly limitless.
The Pavegen tiles themselves are completely eco-friendly. The entire casing is made of marine grade stainless steel and recycled polymer with low carbon concrete. The top surface is built entirely of old truck tires that are not only a great use of recycled material, but also make the tiles incredibly durable throughout years of weather and wear. Even the manufacturing of the Pavegens is kept within 200 miles of the company’s main office, reducing energy wasted through transportation and assembly.
After winning the Big Idea category of the U.K.’s Observer Ethical Awards earlier this year, Kembell-Cook is now in the running to win the Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of 2011 Award which would give him 10,000 ₤ to use towards his invention. Lets hope this will bring Pavegen tiles to the U.S and around the world soon.
Via Core 77