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Can footsteps generate electricity?
This blog post gives definition to an innovative idea that will help produce electricity by our footsteps. This sustainable offering helps in converting the kinetic power that comes from a footstep into electricity.
A graduate that got placed in an energy company named Eon six years ago. Everything was going well at work until one day when Laurence Kembell-Cook was given a task where he had to find a way to provide power for the street lights with the help of solar and wind energy. He tried a lot of options but was not able to find a useful way to do this. That was partly because the city had lots and lots of shades. He identified the problem and wondered how he could possibly narrow down different sources of power in the busy environment which could hold the potential to give answers to this problem. He realized that the answer was right there, below his feet. (Fox, 2015)
Delineate the Problem
The problem that was identified was big and there were limited sources through the problem that could be solved. The main objective was to come up with an idea that could use the waste resources to help solve the issue. Time was another constraint. It is believed and a known fact that it took about 60 years for solar to get to what it can do now and thus it was important to generate an idea that could be reasonable, eco-friendly and would work in very less time. The answer to this problem cannot be presented in a fortnight. It is like entering a new industry that has never been thought of or talked about.
Cook came with the idea of making a floor tile that would use the kinetic energy produced by every footstep a human takes into electricity. He designed the tile so that with every footstep one generates seven watts of power. This kind of power is more than enough to light a LED street bulb. With this idea in mind and the fact that it is using a resource that is free of cost, Cook gathered information that would be required to implement this idea. He understood that this would require copper coils and induction through magnets. There are so many buildings in the United Kingdom and a lot of energy is required to light them up. A test where around 3% of the area that experienced the most footfall was covered with Pavegen in the Macquarie University in Sydney. It generated 1.1. MW hour per year. This is almost 0.5 % of the power the building needs. (Vlahov, 2015)