In the sustainable energy market, Energy Floors, a Netherlands-based firm is trying hard to make its place. They sell products like Sustainable Energy Floor and Sustainable Dance Floor, that convert footsteps into electricity. As soon as anyone steps onto the floor, the tile flexes round about 10mm, and that movement is converted into electricity-15 Watts on average, and up to 25 Watts peak. If the tiles are connected together, 40 to be precise, the network can produce up to 1kW and this is possible due to the modular nature of these tiles.Although we do not know how these magnificent tiles are made but for what we know is that it’s not piezoelectric. For what we can see, it looks like a rack-and-pinion that drives a small permanent magnet generator.
The flow of electricity is directed by a controller module. Charging low voltage devices, charging batteries, or lighting pathways with LEDs is all that can be done from the 12V output.
As much fun as they may sound, these aren’t a techie joke or a high-tech toy. Russian Railway Research Institute has partnered with them and hopes to put Energy Floors on railroad platforms and high-traffic walkways. They also plan on looking into the use of this technology in order to gain energy from the movement of cars and trains.
Interesting fact, apart from the company’s sustainable focus, not only are the floor tiles made out of recyclable materials but has an expected lifetime of 30years.
‘Sustainable energy is a multifaceted industry. Solar, wind, and hydroelectric are the big players, but small energy-harvesting products have their place as well. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Energy Floors could make that step more productive.’