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Paving slabs harness energy of pedestrians

The Pavegen system uses flexible paving slabs that convert the energy made by footsteps into electricity

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Topic: Innovation
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1 of 5 Carly Newman/ZDNet

Pavegen Systems has created technology to harvest energy from the footfall of passers-by and use it to power nearby electrical devices.

The flexible paving slabs, invented by Laurence Kembal-Cook, absorb the energy created by pedestrians and turn it into electricity that can be used to power lights, computers, automatic doors, tube station ticket machines, shop frontages and train and bus timetables.

The slabs are going into six-month trials in locations throughout the UK in 2010, including local authorities, schools and airports. Limited trials took that place across East London came to an end in August.

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2 of 5 Carly Newman/ZDNet

Each slab can generate 2.1 watts per hour, and testing at trial sites has shown that five hours of walking at peak times can generate enough energy to illuminate a bus stop for over 12 hours, according to Pavegen.

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3 of 5 Carly Newman/ZDNet

The slabs are made from recycled car tyres and recycled aluminium, with a sheet of toughened glass encased in marine-grade stainless steel. Each slab glows when it is stepped on, using 5 percent of the energy created per footstep to illuminate a low-energy LED lamp.

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4 of 5 Carly Newman/ZDNet

Every time a Pavegen slab is stepped on, it flexes 5 millimetres and the dynamo technology inside converts the kinetic energy produced into electricity that is stored in lithium polymer batteries inside the slab.

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5 of 5 Carly Newman/ZDNet

Here, a prototype bus stop is illuminated and powered by the cluster of Pavegen slabs nearby.

The company has posted a YouTube video of its technology, demonstrated at Interbuild in October.

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