Step by Step

west-ham-carousel

Project Timeline:

  • Locate areas of heavy student traffic
  • Decide how big of a space will be used for Pavegen flooring, if not all
  • Contact Pavegen for price and installation
  • Installation should take up to two weeks

Project Description:

UIC has a population of 29,000 students, each taking an average of 8,000 steps per day. That totals up to a lot of wasted steps. But there is a way to make every step beneficial.

This project involves the installation of Pavegen tiles. These tiles take each step and transform its kinetic energy to electricity. This electricity can be used to power lights and advertising signs. The Pavegen system is also great with continuous use as it monitors footfall and predicts prime times and locations. Pavegen tiles are sustainable themselves, made out of 90% recycled materials, and highly durable. This product is being used all around the world yet only one public school in the U.S. has Pavegen tiles installed; UIC can be next. Not only will this project contribute to electricity savings and financial savings, but it will also help everyone in taking the necessary steps towards a more sustainable campus.

Here’s a short minute video on a school in Canterbury, Kent that provides a better explanation on the positive effects of Pavegen technology: https://youtu.be/g_Ii4CIFMCY

 Preliminary Project Budget:

  • Approximately $100 per tile*; if at least 100 tiles are purchased: $10,000
  • Installation: $5000
  • Total: $15,000

*Pavegen spokesperson affirms that they wish to reduce the price to $76 in the near future.

Sources:

http://www.garethhuwdavies.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/West-Ham-Carousel.jpg (Image)

https://energyphysics.wikispaces.com/Use+of+Piezoelectrics+(Human+Powered+Energy)

http://www.pavegen.com/

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4 thoughts on “Step by Step

  1. This idea has a lot of potential in that I’ve never heard of anything like it, so it has a lot of potential to educate others on ways we can capture energy, and it has potential to generate a lot of energy. UIC has enough students to populate a mid-sized town, and you’re right, there are a loot of footsteps and thus potential energy. One thing to think about, and though the cost is high, is to narrow the areas where you’d put these special tiles and how they’d be wired to some kind of energy storage device. It may be good to use the tiles initially in the stair cases because there, traffic is bottlenecked and footsteps are sure to land on the limited size of the step, as opposed to tiling open swaths of floor. I like that the tiles themselves are made out of sustainable materials, and the spirit of generating electricity out of something we’re doing already. Ideas like these are effective, I think, because no one is really required to change their behavior.
    In thinking about ways that we can capture energy from behaviors we’re already demonstrating, what is a way you think you could expand your idea? What else is happening on campus where energy could be gathered from motion already occurring? In reading this proposal I thought a lot about gyms that create electricity, and perhaps this new technology could be on some inspiration to expand upon your idea.

    Check it out:
    http://www.thegreenmicrogym.com/electricity-generating-equipment-2/

    Like

  2. I thought about using these to power the pavilion during shows/events…but i fond out they don’t create that much energy. However, it could definitely be used to power streetligts, and would also be a cool way to show UIC’s efforts towards sustainibility in creative ways.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think this is a brilliant idea. I remember when I first heard about these tiles last year, I thought that this is definitely something all major facilities should invest in but never thought about placing them at universities. Almost every student walks on campus most days of the week so this is will definitely make use of that. I have also heard of a similar idea but for roads and sidewalks. If we implant these on the campus roads and sidewalks, we could create even more sustainable energy to power the lights or emergency stations on campus.

    Reference:
    http://www.wallstreetdaily.com/2011/11/09/eco-friendly-building-material-solidia-technologies/

    Like

  4. This is a really cool and new idea to me. I’ve never heard of anything that captures our kinetic energy on such a minimal scale like these pavers. And the fact that the opportunity for such bulk usage puts the generative possibility at such a high level. I love the fact that it is so minimally invasive to our everyday lives but has such a high potential. This goes hand in hand with another type of project I’ve known about for quite a while. Solar Roadways is a company out of Idaho that is pushing for the instillation of solar panels as roadways worldwide with the panels they are developing. This is another idea that makes un-invasive use of the spaces that are deemed necessary. Just imagine how much renewable energy the campus would generate if that new parking lot between Harrison and Vernon Park was paved with these solar tiles. Great idea making use of in-place infrastructure to generate energy.

    Solar Roadways Website: http://www.solarroadways.com/Home/Index

    Like

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