A cityscape at night reflecting on a river

Energy Harvesting Tiles: The Future of Green Energy?

Energy Harvesting Tiles

Energy harvesting tiles turn footsteps into energy. Get people to walk on them and we can generate electricity to power the country’s infrastructure and share meaningful data. This all comes from a green a sustainable source - people in motion.

1. What are energy-harvesting tiles?

2. Self-harvesting tiles in practice

3. The benefits

4. The future of green energy?

5. Watch

Energy harvesting tiles turn footsteps into energy. Get people to walk on them and we can generate electricity to power the country’s infrastructure and share meaningful data. This all comes from a green a sustainable source - people in motion.

1. What are energy-harvesting tiles?

2. Self-harvesting tiles in practice

3. The benefits

4. The future of green energy?

5. Watch

What are energy-harvesting tiles?

Energy harvesting tiles (also known as self harvesting kinetic tiles) use embedded sensors to seize kinetic energy when people walk on them. This energy can generate electricity to be used immediately, or stored for another time if battery storage is available onsite. The electricity generated is typically used in the same area where the kinetic tiles operate, such as for local street lighting or billboards.

As people walk across the kinetic tiles, the weight from their footsteps activates electromagnetic flywheel generators below. Each tile tilts by about five millimetres, generating kinetic energy which creates an electrical current. The kinetic tiles can produce two to four watt-seconds of electricity per step. That’s enough to power an LED light for 20 seconds.

Harvesting tiles generating electricity in London

What are energy-harvesting tiles?

Energy harvesting tiles (also known as self harvesting kinetic tiles) use embedded sensors to seize kinetic energy when people walk on them. This energy can generate electricity to be used immediately, or stored for another time if battery storage is available onsite. The electricity generated is typically used in the same area where the kinetic tiles operate, such as for local street lighting or billboards.

Harvesting tiles generating electricity in London

As people walk across the kinetic tiles, the weight from their footsteps activates electromagnetic flywheel generators below. Each tile tilts by about five millimetres, generating kinetic energy which creates an electrical current. The kinetic tiles can produce two to four watt-seconds of electricity per step. That’s enough to power an LED light for 20 seconds.

Self-harvesting tiles used in practice

Pavegen is a world’s pioneer when it comes to energy harvesting tile technology. Pavegen helmed several charitable projects which helped to demonstrate the viability of their products for a wide range of uses. For example, the startup installed them on football pitches in Brazil and Nigeria to power the floodlights. Kinetic tiles are most effective in areas of high foot traffic, where energy harvesting is practical. Pavegen has already installed their proprietary tiles in Heathrow terminal three, on Oxford Street and in metro stations.

Kinetic energy tiles used in Paris marathon
Kinetic energy tiles used in Paris marathon

Self-harvesting tiles used in practice

Pavegen is a world’s pioneer when it comes to energy harvesting tile technology. Pavegen helmed several charitable projects which helped to demonstrate the viability of their products for a wide range of uses. For example, the startup installed them on football pitches in Brazil and Nigeria to power the floodlights. Kinetic tiles are most effective in areas of high foot traffic, where energy harvesting is practical. Pavegen has already installed their proprietary tiles in Heathrow terminal three, on Oxford Street and in metro stations.

The benefits for consumers and retailers of kinetic tiles

Energy harvesting kinetic tiles can complement geolocation technologies as part of future marketing strategies. Geofencing is one such technology, which uses GPS (global positioning system to pinpoint where the customer is in the shop. Traders could use this data by sending customers personalised notifications via a mobile phone app to incentivise them to take a particular action. An example could be a notification with the message “Walk over to our new organic fruit section and get 20p off your next purchase”.

Flood lit football match on synthetic pitch
A city lit up at night

Are energy harvesting tiles the future of green energy?

Harvesting energy from kinetic tiles has the potential to develop cities and turn urban centres into smart, connected and eco-friendly places. This technology could be a sustainable means of powering the six million street lamps across the UK. This would cut CO2 emissions by 2 million metric tons a year. Kinetic energy from people in motion could also complement other renewable sources, such as solar and wind energy.

Energy harvesting tiles are uniquely suited to applications where low levels of energy are needed, such as local street lamps and signage. This avoids the need to connect to the grid, putting it under less pressure to meet the country’s energy demands. Kinetic tiles could also revolutionise the way we do business, providing valuable insights for retail businesses. They also complement the goals of smart cities to remain self-sufficient in their energy supply. Looking into the future, kinetic tiles certainly have strong potential to become a widespread sustainable energy source.

The benefits for consumers & retailers of kinetic tiles

Energy harvesting kinetic tiles can complement geolocation technologies as part of future marketing strategies. Geofencing is one such technology, which uses GPS (global positioning system to pinpoint where the customer is in the shop. Traders could use this data by sending customers personalised notifications via a mobile phone app to incentivise them to take a particular action. An example could be a notification with the message “Walk over to our new organic fruit section and get 20p off your next purchase”.

Flood lit football match on synthetic pitch

Are energy harvesting tiles the future of green energy?

Harvesting energy from kinetic tiles has the potential to develop cities and turn urban centres into smart, connected and eco-friendly places. This technology could be a sustainable means of powering the six million street lamps across the UK. This would cut CO2 emissions by 2 million metric tons a year. Kinetic energy from people in motion could also complement other renewable sources, such as solar and wind energy.

A city lit up at night

Energy harvesting tiles are uniquely suited to applications where low levels of energy are needed, such as local street lamps and signage. This avoids the need to connect to the grid, putting it under less pressure to meet the country’s energy demands. Kinetic tiles could also revolutionise the way we do business, providing valuable insights for retail businesses. They also complement the goals of smart cities to remain self-sufficient in their energy supply. Looking into the future, kinetic tiles certainly have strong potential to become a widespread sustainable energy source.

Tokyo at night

The Future?

This technology could be a sustainable means of powering the six million street lamps across the UK. This would cut CO2 emissions by 2 million metric tons a year.

Tokyo at night

The Future?

This technology could be a sustainable means of powering the six million street lamps across the UK. This would cut CO2 emissions by 2 million metric tons a year.

Sources & further reading

✅ for peer reviewed research

www.theswitch.co.uk

www.pavegen.com

Sources & further reading

✅ for peer reviewed research

www.theswitch.co.uk

www.pavegen.com