Six years ago, Laurence Kemball-Cook had a brainwave. He was working at an energy company, finding a way to power street lighting with solar energy and wind. This got him thinking about other potential sources of power in busy urban and city spaces. The answer, he realised, was underneath his feet.
“My idea was a floor tile that would convert the kinetic energy from a footstep into electricity,” he says. “Every time someone steps on the tile, they generate seven watts of power. The energy is stored within batteries, and then used to power lighting when it’s needed. It’s an off-grid power source for cities.”
He started his own company called ‘Pavegen’ and has installed tiles at Heathrow airport. During the 2014 World Cup in Rio, his company laid a whole football pitch with tiles and hooked them up to spotlights so that play could continue after dark.
Read more on The Guardian website.