Sunday’s Paris marathon was a great success, and this year, thanks to the installation of energy-harvesting tiles, clean energy was actually generated from the event.
178 of the flexible tiles, which are able to capture the kinetic energy of footsteps, were laid out along a 25 metre stretch of the Champs-Elysees, just part of the 26 mile course.
The tiles, created by Pavegen Systems Ltd. from the UK, are made from recycled truck tyres and can generate as much as 8 watts of kinetic energy from each footfall. Pavegen announced that they would donate €60,000 to an NGO if the 40,000 runners could produce produced 7 kilowatt-hours of energy. There is still no word as to whether that target was reached. (Related article: Have Canadian Researchers Cracked How to Store Renewable Energy?)
Laurence Kemball-Cook, the CEO of Pavegen and inventor of the technology, explained the idea behind his compay’s new product. “Imagine if your run or walk to work could help to power the lights for your return journey home in the evening. A viable new type of off-grid energy technology that people love to use and which can make a low-carbon contribution wherever there is high footfall, regardless of the weather.”
Pavegen have been unwilling to release the current cost of the tile, but did mention that they have reduced the cost by half over the past year and area aiming to lower it further to around £50 per tile, similar to other high-spec floor tiles.