Pavegen is a start-up from London that has created a patented flooring technology which converts the kinetic energy from footsteps into off-grid power and data. As pedestrians walk across the Pavegen system, the weight from their footsteps creates a small vertical movement of 5 to 10mm in the top surface. This compresses the electromagnetic generators below, creating a rotary motion which produces 2 to 4 joules of electrical energy per step. This off-grid energy can be used to power environmental sensors, street lighting, and to collect and transmit data. The company has installed over 200 times with permanent sites in airports, corporate HQs, schools and shopping centres. Pavegen recently signed an agreement with Siemens to integrate Pavegen’s technology in international smart city projects. Pavegen is also looking into expanding its technology to bike lanes and architecture.
There are several other initiatives that focus on alternative use of pavements and streets, such as Google Sidewalk Labs and Umbrellium, a company that is experimenting with interactive pedestrian crossings.