I vividly remember a video by David Guetta back in the day. The song was called Alphabeat (a melodic masterpiece, honestly) and it showed off a really interesting concept. The DJ’s arena had a dance-floor that converted jumps into energy. Every time the deejay would drop the bass, the crowd would go wild, jumping on this energy-trapping floor, which would, in turn, power the DJ’s visual and sound system, turning a feverish EDM mosh-dance into spectacular light and sound show, powered entirely using the crowd’s foot-energy. The Pavegen builds on that vision, creating a pavement that captures the movement of the people who walk on it, capturing the energy of footfall.
The energy that the Pavegen captures is a clean form of energy that is otherwise lost on regular concrete pavements. It uses a set of triangular composite tiles that rest on electromagnetic generators. Walk on the tile, and the pressure you apply on it with your weight creates a small amount of energy. Do it enough times and you’ve got a decent amount of energy created with all the steps you take to go from A to B. Multiply this by the thousands of pedestrians who walk on the same stretch of pavement in the day and you’ve got yourself enough energy to power a shop, or even a stretch of streetlights. Each footstep on a Pavegen walkway generates 2 to 4 joules of off-grid electrical energy or up to 7 watts of power for the duration of a footstep. Bluetooth beacons in the system connect to smartphones too, rewarding pedestrians for each step they take.
The Pavegen has already seen a great deal of success in the past year. Recent Pavegen installations include smart city developments, retail destinations, sports stadia and education institutions in Hong Kong, India, Korea, Thailand, UAE, UK and USA. Pavegen has even set up a permanent installation at the Abu Dhabi International Airport, harvesting energy from as many as 8000 visitors/flyers per day. They say walking burns off excess energy. Imagine having a city that runs on that energy, converting healthy exercise into a resource for clean power!