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Source: Pixabay

Energy-Harvesting Tiles Turn Footsteps Into Electricity On Busy London Street

By Brian Spaen

We’ve seen solar panels added to sidewalks, and now streets that create renewable energy with just the simple footsteps of pedestrians. With solar panels not always being reliable, one company discovered how to generate power with traffic on these walkways. That's right: Technology is slowly beginning to power entire buildings as people walk down the street, without causing so much as a pause in people's path. Added bonus? It's even interactive.

Pavegen has redesigned Bird Street in London’s West End and turned it into an energy harvesting walkway. Instead of needing to absorb sunlight, people just walk on it to generate power. This is done by generators moving around under the pavement from each human step to create kinetic energy.

Researchers have experimented with similar concepts in the past. As we know, our bodies can generate a lot of energy when moving around and scientists have been trying to figure out how to turn that into something useful. Just last year, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have been developing a shoe with an ability to harvest energy. A video demonstration showed it powering a flashlight, and there have been hopes of it charging mobile devices or even powering remote areas.