British sustainable technology company Pavegen has transformed one sidewalk in Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C., into a kinetic power generator. The company installed 194 triangular glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) tiles into a portion of the sidewalk. The corners of the tiles balance on a connector that unites the tiles to 68 generators.
Pavegen says that every day, 10,000 people will be passing over the 240 sq. feet of Pavegen tiles on Dupont Circle’s Connecticut Avenue, less than two miles from the White House.
As people step on the tiles, their weight causes electric-magnetic induction generators to vertically displace, which results in a motion that generates off-grid electricity. Pavegen says the technology has a “sophisticated charging infrastructure” that allows for remote, real-time monitoring of the system and the data produced using a “smart controller.”
The Pavegen team worked in conjunction with the District of Columbia Department of Transportation, ZGF and Golden Triangle BID to deliver the installation.
The technology will face a major test soon as it will be exposed to winter in D.C. According to the American Composites Manufacturers Association’s CompositesLab website, one of the major benefits of composites, such as GRP, is their durability in all kinds of weather.
“We are excited to show the world how well it stands up to these harsh conditions,” Pavegen wrote on its website.
If successful, the technology has potential to be implemented at a large scale.
“Imagine this on a large scale, in cities with millions of people walking over it every day,” Patrick Davies, the deputy British ambassador, said to the Washington Post. “Whatever your views, it’s generating power for low cost, and it’s completely renewable because people are going to walk along here all the time. So what’s not to like?”