Footpaths to generate electricity from pedestrians' footsteps
Wednesday, 16 July 2008, 07:00 Hrs
London: A new technology under development by a British company would allow harnessing of the power of footsteps of pedestrians to generate electricity for lighting up public places. The technology, developed by London-based The Facility, uses a flooring system that incorporates a matrix of hydraulic compression pads. The pressure of the footsteps on these pads pushes fluid through a micro-turbine and generates electricity. In 2007, a version of the technology that used the energy of passing trains to power a flood detector underwent successful trial at a bridge in the Midlands, Britain. There are plans to use this technology in the stairs to the Spinnaker Tower viewing platform in Portsmouth. The proposal by David Webb of British consultancy Scott Wilson involves use of miniature heel-strike generators installed beneath the stairs to capture the power generated by people walking above. A study based on foot traffic at London's Victoria underground train station showed that the average 34,000 travellers that pass through the station each hour could power 6,500 light bulbs.