A British engineering graduate has invented and patented a type of pavement that generates electricity from people walking on it, reports Jeremy Lovell at Climatewire. The inventor, Laurence Kemball-Cook has formed the company Pavegen to manufacture these pavement slabs. Essentially, the invention is based on generating electricity by applying mechanical stress – such as a footstep – on materials that store an electric charge from such stress. In this case, the power generated can be used immediately for lighting, for example, or stored on the national electric grid. An added green feature is that each slab has a surface made of recycled truck tires and a base made of recycled polymer concrete. As with many inventions, the idea seemed simple — the trick has been in putting it into practice and then fighting to take it to market. The initial test ground was a high school hallway, which was lit by the slabs. Ultimately, however, such slabs could harness the footsteps of people at airports, railway stations, shopping malls, and main tourist locations throughout the world. Now that’s power!
How power-generating paving lightens up public spaces and some pedestrians. It could be the last word in concrete solutions to carbon emissions: a paving slab that generates electricity with every footstep taken on it, providing clean power to both cities and remote areas not connected to a national grid. Best of all, it requires mainly used tires and concrete. ClimateWire