Pavegen. Energy-Harvesting Street Tiles Generate Power from Pavement Pounder. PARIS—On April 7, 2013, Kenya’s Peter Some won the 37th Paris Marathon with a time of 2:05:38.
A surprise winner, Some missed the event record by only 27 seconds, thus depriving him of a place in running history. He need not have worried; unknown to him and thousands of fellow marathoners, they were all nonetheless part of a historic event. As they ran across the Avenue des Champs Élysées and thumped their feet on 176 special tiles laid on a 25-meter stretch, the athletes generated electricity. These special “energy harvesting tiles” were developed by London-based Pavegen Systems. The power thus generated can be used to run low-voltage equipment such as streetlights and vending machines. Pavegen uses what it calls a hybrid black box technology to convert the energy of a footstep into electricity, which is either stored in a battery or fed directly to devices. Easy power collection sounds promising, but implementation is challenging. Energy Producing Bicycle Lane is Introduced in the Netherlands. Photovoltaic technology has been poised as the future of energy generation.
Although other energy sources, such as wind power, have proven to be more effective for large-scale electricity generation, PV keeps on surprising users with it many every-day applications, such as rooftop panels and portable battery chargers. A pinch of innovation and a lot of creativity can make PV technology go a long way. In 2009, the Dutch research institute TNO envisioned an interesting application of solar technology. What if the sunlight that naturally falls on the surface of a road could be turned into electric power? The idea of a road surface acting as a large solar panel was proved to be attractive for the road construction company Ooms Civiel, technical service provider Imtech Traffic & Infra, and the province of Noord-Holland, all of which formed a consortium with TNO called SolaRoad.
Once finished, the solar lane is expected to reach 328ft total. This Bike Elevator Makes Steep Hills a Little More Manageable. Scandinavia, always ahead of the bike infrastructure curve, has something else to share: a self-service cycle lift for hilly roads.
The first prototype was installed in Trondheim, Norway, in 1993. Since then, it's become a popular tourist attraction that's powered more than 200,000 cyclists up a 130-meter hill, with no accidents recorded. The original lift was dismantled in 2012, and replaced a year later with CycloCable, an industrialized version upgraded to meet new safety standards. Now, POMA Group, the French cableway company behind the CycloCable, wants to sell the idea to other cities around the world. The CycloCable in action at its re-launch last summer. CycloCable works very much like a ski lift. To begin, you just push the green button at the "start station" and wait for the first footplate. So far, the only CycloCable installed on a real road is in Trondheim. Trampe/CycloCable® 1.
Why do you need a bicycle lift? It effectively helps promote cycling. In Trondheim, people have at least one bicycle each. A lot of these have not been used for several years. The Bicycle Lift inspires to pedal the bike again. To the top 2. People using the bicycle as a means of transport do not necessarily want to get very warm and sweaty. World's first solar cycle lane opening in the Netherlands. The bike path that connects the Amsterdam suburbs of Krommenie and Wormerveer is popular with both school children and commuters: around 2,000 cyclists ride its two lanes on an average day.
But next week Krommenie’s cycle path promises to become even more useful: on 12 November a 70-metre stretch will become the world’s first public road with embedded solar panels. Costing around €3m (£2.4m) and funded mostly by the local authority, the road is made up of rows of crystalline silicon solar cells, encased within concrete and covered with a translucent layer of tempered glass. A non-adhesive finish and a slight tilt are meant to help the rain wash off dirt and thus keep the surface clean, guaranteeing maximum exposure to sunlight.
Since the path cannot be adjusted to the position of the sun, the panels produce roughly 30% less energy than those fixed on to roofs. Two US engineers, Idaho couple Julie and Scott Brusaw, have been developing solar panelling units for road use since 2006.