Imagine floors that convert the energy of walking people into electricity. Electricity from pedestrian power plus a bit from solar panels. This is all more than imagination thanks to Spanish startup OTEM2000 and Energy Floors. The companies are expanding to produce these hybrid energy floors. An ample range of flooring products will be available, and the products will be for both individual and public sectors.
Energy Floor’s technology first hit the market in 2007. It premiered as a sustainable dance floor. Sustainable energy floor accomplishes this “by means of a patented electromechanical system [that] converts kinetic energy of walking people into usable electricity. The Sustainable Energy Floor (SEF) is the world’s most efficient energy converting pedestrian floor system. One step or move on a tile can generate between 2-20 Joules, depending on the weight of the person, type of movement and maximum deflection.”
The combination of technologies and partnership with OTEM2000 are promising innovations and likely to improve not only efficiency but our ideas of clean energy abundance. In the words of Antoni Orti, who is product and project manager at OTEM2000, “Energy Floors has loads of experience with these kind of products; they developed the best technology to harness energy from human movement. In addition to that, the Hybrid Energyfloor® has the potential to create amazing spaces that fulfill a green cause whilst also communicating a cool and green message. All kinds of public areas can benefit greatly from these flooring systems.” Michel Smit, CEO of Energy Floors, agrees. “We believe it’s a promising innovation to combine solar energy and human power into one product.”
Thus far, technologies with kinetic energy are found on dance floors, train stations, speed bumps, and soccer balls. Schools are an obvious place for incorporating kinetic energy tiles into pedestrian paths, with students walking here and there throughout the day. At Webster University, a kinetic energy mobile device charging station was installed on the campus in St. Louis; the “EnGo” is the innovation of a New York company called The Volta Group.
Harvesting energy from bodies in motion makes so much sense. I’m excited to see the next piece of news from OTEM2000 and Energy Floors.
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