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Energy Solutions

Pedestrians generate electricity with every step

Ilan Stern of the Georgia Institute of Technology has developed floor tiles that generate electricity when a pedestrian walks over them. The tiles will first be used in the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral.

05 Jan. 2018
Marie-Lucine Tapyuli
Georgia Institute of Technology
(picture: Georgia Institute of Technology)

Visitors to the Kennedy Space Center will in future themselves generate the electricity needed to illuminate the footpath. The path is equipped with special floor tiles covering an area of around 3700 m² for this purpose. They contain piezo elements that generate electricity when compressed by the weight of visitors and solar cells that generate electricity when there are no visitors on the path. If more electricity than needed is generated, a lithium-ion battery stores the surplus electrical energy and releases it later as needed.

The Georgia Institute of Technology is however by no means the first provider of such technology. The startup Engoplanet already made a name for itself last year. Using a similar technology, the New York startup supplies street lights in Las Vegas with power. Each step we take generates between 4 and 8 W of energy - busy pedestrian zones, for example, thus have considerable hidden potential for generating energy.