The floor tile which can generate electricity has been designed by the British company Pavegen. When the person steps on the tile it hits the built-in flywheels producing electricity. The pavement surfacing produces 3 joules of power that is enough for short-term street lighting. The novel approach uses people's power. From an idea in a lab to Oxford Street in London, smart tiles were already installed on 150 sites around the world. With the strong support of industry giants e.g. Hinduja Group, Siemens and Tamar Capital, the company is able to make the technology ubiquitous for all cities globally.
British young company Pavegen Systems uses for energy generation a springy triangular tile with electromagnetic generators. As soon as a person comes to cover, the system produces 3 joules of energy. This is enough to support the lighting of a low-power LED light bulb for 30 seconds. On a busy street, the coating can maintain illumination continuously and even store excess energy - for this the company suggests using batteries.
Pavegen has already installed tiles in 150 different locations - from Heathrow Airport in London to a football field in Lagos, the capital of Nigeria in the UK and the USA. The tile generates autonomously the energy it uses to illuminate the coating. Developers also want to equip multifunctional custom flooring system with an energy storage system for those periods when people around are few and no one comes to the tile. The tile generates autonomously the energy it uses to illuminate the coating. Developers also want to equip multifunctional custom flooring system with an energy storage system for those periods when people around are few and no one comes to the tile.
Founded in 2009 by Laurence Kemball Cook, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Pavegen Systems, the British company has attracted up to $3 million with crowdfunding and now plans to raise up to $7 million from venture investors. The company plans to benefit not only from electricity but on data collection. The Pavegen tile is equipped with sensors that measure the number of steps and transmit data to smartphones via Bluetooth. For example, enterprises can install tiles on their territory and give employees bonuses for the number of steps passed.
Pavegen will not only deal with clean energy but also with data collection - another area with great prospects. To do this, the tile is equipped with a step counter, which, if desired, the user can transfer data to the application on the smartphone. Thus, the startup wants to offer customers discounts: the more a person went through the Pavegen tiles, the more energy was produced and the more points or bonuses he received.
There were many prototypes, but finally, the company came up with the latest flooring tile. The triangular design has generating flywheels at each point. The module system can be interlaced to form large areas that do not lose potential energy generation through the creation of dead-spots. Each person who comes to cover Pavegen produces up to 5 watts of energy. Due to the triangular shape and the three flywheels, the tile can cover large areas and generate energy to the maximum, practically without 'blind' zones. This is 200 time more energy from a person walking than its initial prototype due to a better-designed floor tile and an improved flywheel mechanism that turns at 1500 RPMs compared to a previous speed of 80 RPMs.
This compares with the previous model, which came in a square form with generating components pointing inwards onto a central flywheel. This means that footsteps landing on the edges of squares where the components attached would not generate power. The new model will also prove to be cheaper to manufacture. This is because it takes about 60 kg less steel per square meter to make them.
In Washington, installing the Pavegen cover cost $100,000, but as long as the costs do not pay off - people rarely step on the tile, and the system is malfunctioning. Nevertheless, the founder of the project believes that the tile works quite efficiently and benefits the cities that combine three main properties of smart cities such as energy generation, health improvement and data collection.
According to latest data spinoff has raised £2.6m on its crowdfunding push having doubled its initial £950k target. The company also secured funds and anchor clients such as global engineering conglomerate Hinduja Group and family investment firm Tamar Capital. In 2018, Pavegen also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with global engineering and technology giant, Siemens, to develop smart city projects together. The funding round follows expansion into 36 countries worldwide, and £1.8m in revenues in 2018, with installations including smart city developments, retail destinations, transport hubs and education institutions in Hong Kong, India, Korea, Thailand, UAE, UK & USA.