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Pavegen Powers the Future One Step at a Time

Pavegen is changing the way we think about green energy sources. Pavegen is changing the way we think about green energy sources.

Last year, British entrepreneurs Laurence Kemball-Cook and Mark Wane introduced the world to an exciting new advance in green energy called Pavegen Systems. This new innovation involves tiles that, when stepped on, can harness the power of kinetic energy to supply lights and other devices with green electricity. Recent applications of this amazing invention have proven that the possibilities for the Pavegen system are extensive, and it's only just begun.

The first application of Pavegen's tile technology was a test site in East London, a stretch of sidewalk where just a few tiles were able to light a bus stop and accompanying advertisements throughout the night. Installation in a British grammar school has also proven successful, showing that Pavegen can be used in a variety of areas with heavy foot-traffic to ease the burden of fossil fuels and other non-renewable energy sources.

The design of Pavegen is genius in its simplicity. When a pedestrian steps on one of the tiles, it flexes just five millimeters, not enough to be problematic but enough to create anywhere between four and ten watts of electricity per footstep. The energy can be stored in thin lithium polymer batteries below the tile or used immediately to power nearby lights, parking meters, signs, or basically anything that runs on low levels of electricity.

When a pedestrian steps on one of the tiles, it flexes just five millimeters, not enough to be problematic but enough to create anywhere between four and ten watts of electricity per footstep.

The tiles themselves are green in construction as well; they are made from marine-grade stainless steel (to last,) recycled polymers, and low-carbon concrete (normal concrete production creates about five percent of global carbon emissions.) The Pavegen tile's surface is made from recycled tires, a substance that has found a plethora of uses in playgrounds, athletic fields and tracks, and now as the incredibly durable surface of Pavegen's revolutionary tiles. In addition, the tiles light up when stepped on, adding a fun reminder to pedestrians of the good that they are doing for the planet, just by walking. The lights have a more serious purpose, as well: at pedestrian street crossings, the lights will illuminate people at night, making it less likely that someone will be accidentally struck by a vehicle.

Pavegen makes an effort to be green in its manufacturing methods, too. All steps in the creation of the tiles are done within 200 miles of their main distribution office, minimizing the cost and use of fossil fuels for transit.

Now, Pavegen has secured a contract to install their tiles in an area of the Westfield Stratford City shopping center, the largest mall in Europe, which is located on the 2012 London Olympic grounds and estimated to see about seven million pedestrians throughout that event. The Westfield company operates one of the planet's largest shopping mall chains, with locations worldwide and an especially large presence in the US. If the use of Pavegen in the Westfield Stratford City is successful, we may start seeing Pavegen tiles popping up in malls across America as well.

Pavegen inventor and President Laurence Kemball-Cook has been awarded the UK's Observer Ethical Award in the Big Idea category, and has also received a variety of other acknowledgments that are geared toward young innovators—he is, after all, only 25 years old. The success of Pavegen is proof that young people can do and create some pretty amazing things. As we have said before: small, yet meaningful innovations like Pavegen will probably end up saving the world.

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An amazing demonstration of the power of Pavegen to change the way we think about energy in our world.
Last modified on Monday, 16 July 2012 18:58

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