In the French city of Toulouse, the newest craze in sustainable energy is about to hit the streets. Literally. Inspired by a nightclub in Rotterdam, Netherlands, the city of Toulouse has begun investigating the installation of energy-absorbing sidewalk panels that would harvest pedestrian power to fuel the street lights.
The panels, made by the Dutch company Sustainable Dance Club, compress by 0.4 inches every time they are stepped on, and a motor converts that mechanical energy into electrical power. According to Sustainable Dance Club, a person dancing on one of the tiles can generate between 2 and 20 watts, depending on their weight. Toulouse plans to install the panels in the city center, and test them out for two weeks.
However, the fine chaps over at the Register have done some math, and concluded that the panels can't possibly provide enough power to light the streets. Based on their calculations, even if every resident of the city spent an hour walking every day through a city where every square inch of sidewalk absorbed their energy, it wouldn't provide enough energy to light the streets or significantly offset the cost of lighting them.
So sure, a large city filled with skinny people may not be the best place to implement this technology. But transport this tech to Huntington, West Virginia, where pedestrians probably generate two or three times the power per person of the average Frenchman, and maybe you could start producing some real power.
Would those West Virginians even walk?
no, they would probably roll
This seems really stupid and poitless to me. You would get more power from a PV sidewalk anyway. France generates over 80% of there power with nuclear, which can be argued as the most environmentally friend power source we have. Nuclear has a smaller carbon footprint than wind and solar and is much MUCH cheaper. We even have the technology to run reactors on the nuclear waste so you don't have to argue about that. If the US government wanted to get ride of the nuclear waste they foul easily build a doozen reactors and get ride of a lot of the stuff. I couldn't imagine why France would ever invest in something other than nuclear or waste-to-energy. France is to nuclear to change. Nuclear is cheaper than coal so it is the only clean option to power the future. Wind and solar is too expensive and isn't reliable enough without storage of power. Which is extremely expensive. Would you pay 60000$ to power our house with solar and store it in batteries? That's like 3 or 4 small cars. My power company is 95% coal energy so I don't want to hear the French complain about how they have the cleanest industrialized country in the world when it comes to generating power and say that's not enough. Why don't they send the money hear and build us a nuclear plant? America needs to catch up to France anyway... And every other EU country...
Nice unnecessary cheap shot there Stu.
You're reporting on a totally impractical application of a technology, but you feel compelled to bash the people of WVa. Great article.
I'd be curious what the output would be if they could put these on the roads. I'm sure you're power generation would exponentially increase....
leave it to the french to come up with mass walking to power street lights. More walking will actually increase emissions and cones are kool is 100% right. Just imagine how many sheep will be walking on the streets just to keep those lights on...which in turn will require people to consume more food(fuel), expel more CO2 and other gases, create more strain on the current power supply by a myriad of other demands. Basically a butterfly effect
I agree with the first comment, if the people in West Virginia are so.... large... that they are heavy enough to power the street lights then they probably don't walk much at all. What you need is the street lights to be powered by people from "The Biggest Loser" running down the sidewalk to excersize, or maybe you could use the weight of cars instead.
wow I like the idea...........
why cant they use this idea on a platform like a BUSY bridge, then surely the weight of car or lorry would generate enough energy??