Everytime someone walks, or dances, over a Pavegen tile, renewable energy is harvested from the footstep. This technology developed in part by Laurence Kemball-Cook, converts human traversal into electricity. Twenty PaveGen tiles will be placed along the central crossing between London’s Olympic stadium and the recently opened Westfield Stratford City mall.
PaveGen, a UK-based company that makes the electricity-generating slabs, will be making their first big commercial appearance during the Olympics in 2012. The tiles are expected to generate enough electricity to power at least half of the malls outdoor lighting needs.
The waterproof tiles are made from 100 percent recycled rubber and marine grade stainless steel. Each tile is reported to have a life span of 5 years or 20 million steps. When the tile is stepped on, a central light illuminates as a friendly reminder to the pedestrian that they are helping generate 2.1 watts of electricity per hour. The technology was demonstrated at the Bestival on the Isle of Wight where it was part of a dance floor that generated electricity as 50,000 people were dancing over a four-day run.
American inventor Dean Kamen, who gave the world the Segway, is seeking a patent for an inflatable turbine with embedded LEDs running on wind power that could light up to display text or an image.
According to the patent, the inflatable wind turbine structure is made out of plastic fabric. They will be very light and easy to move around, meaning that they can be put on roofs that would otherwise be unable to support the weight of a wind turbine, or easily carried on trucks, to wherever the next hurricane or tornado is supposed to occur. Even positioned on electric cars the wind could power up the car. Currently wind turbines need ten times as much steel and concrete as a nuclear reactor to generate the same amount of power.
Previous inflatable wind turbines are designed to float at high altitudes to take advantage of faster wind speeds. But Kamen’s turbines would be more down-to-earth — mostly for use on top of buildings or on roadsides, Kamen said — so they can be used as advertising billboards. Powered by the turbine they’re embedded in, the lights could display content like images, messages, advertising, weather advisories and traffic delays.
According to a new report from Pike Research the small wind industry is set to enter a major growth spurt.The report forecasts that the global market for small wind systems will more than double between 2010 and 2015, rising from $255 million to $634 million during that period. Within the same period, new small wind system installed capacity will nearly triple to 152 megawatts (MW). This boom in investment will cause average installed prices of small wind systems to decline to just over $4,150 per kilowatt (kW).
Wind farm turbines typically produce more than 1.5 megawatts, or 1,500 kilowatts of electricity. In contrast, turbines for individual and commercial applications typically range from 1 kilowatt to 100 kilowatts, these are the small wind turbines. The use of wind turbines, great and small, has grown in recent years as energy prices and interest in green energy have also risen.
The report artibutes the expected growth of the sector in the coming years to the fact that small wind is currently more efficient and therefore, cheaper on a cost-per-watt basis than solar photovoltaic cells. Also, government incentives play a role. In Britain, a ‘feed-in tariff’ introduced last year promises operators of small wind turbines above-market rates for the power they produce. In the United States, the federal government provides a 30 percent tax credit for wind turbines. In addition, farms, ranches and small businesses can claim advanced depreciation on the value of the turbine, which allows the customer to claim 100 percent of the turbine’s depreciation in the first year.
Small wind turbines have an expected life span of 30 to 50 years.The payback time of a small wind turbine can be 5 to 10 years depending on the wind available in the located area, which makes it a good option to be used for any commercial or residential purpose, according to the report. It adds, however, that despite their benefits, small wind turbines have not enjoyed the same level of innovation when it comes to unique financing and business models, particularly when compared with distributed solar energy.
Currently the U.S. is dominating the small wind turbine market. That is projected to continue in the coming years.
This week Green Turbine will be exhibiting at the trade fair in Den Bosch for optimal savings; Energie 2011. If you are planning a visit, you can locate us in hall no.5 near the Steam Pavillion, at stand E038 of SMO.
We will be showing in action the world’s smallest steam turbine, which converts waste heat into electricity. Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you might have, as well as pointing out the benefits Green Turbine might have for your product.
Energie 2011 is the largest energy trade show of its kind in the Netherlands, offering the broadest platform on how to save energy: for both industry and construction. The fair will take place from Tuesday 4th until Thursday 6th October in the Brabanthallen in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.