Power generating tiles pave the way to renewable energy breakthrough

By Oliver Balch, The Guardian:

If you had the good fortune of obtaining tickets to the Olympics, you might have inadvertently contributed to a potential breakthrough in renewable power.

Around one million or so visitors alighted at West Ham underground station to get to the Games. Access to the Olympic Park came via a tiled walkway. Nothing extraordinary there, you say. Look up and you’d have seen a row of a dozen streetlights lit around the clock. Again, nothing that surprising. A tad wasteful, even.

Yet the reality is quite the opposite. Using a hybrid technology that converts kinetic energy into electricity, the lights were powered by a uniquely original source: footsteps.

“This is the first time that there’s ever been a commercial installation of this type in a real environment … using a power source that’s never been tapped before”, says Laurence Kemball-Cook, the brains behind the technology… Read more

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