Developers of special energy harvesting floor tiles that were used during the Olympic games in London have released their results today, but were they a runaway success or more a meandering disappointment?
In our post last month on the tiles we explained that the method behind the technique relies on nothing more than walking over floor tiles that absorb the weight and force and convert that kinetic energy into electrical power. The developers of the tiles claim that each footstep can be converted into an average of seven watts of electricity.
The tiles were installed at the West Ham underground station especially to collect the kinetic energy from the foot traffic from the Olympic masses.
Developers say that over the 2 weeks of the games the 12 tiles produced 72m joules of energy or 20 kilowatt-hours. That proved sufficient to keep the walkway streetlamps illuminated at full power through the night, and at half power during the day, with plenty of back-up energy left over to spare.
The developers of the technology were encouraged with the results and see the potential for this technology in the outside advertising displays and signage.
The Brains Behind It
The inventor of the technology is a 26 year old industrial design engineer called Lawrence Kemball Cook, who dreamt up the idea from his flat with 50GBP in his back pocket. The invention has picked up over a dozen awards for design and innovation and with the results back from the Olympic trial Lawrence is now looking for further investment.
The technology is more expensive than solar panels but this cost would lower with the increase of production.
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For more on this story please see our previous post ‘Energy Harvesting is Stepping Up!’
Sources: The Guardian