We could be on the verge of a breakthrough with regard to the way we source power for lighting. At least this is the view of one clever entrepreneur, a gentleman called Laurence Kemball-Cook who has invented a novel and innovative way of producing electricity for lighting purposes.
A New Electricity Generating Tile
Sustainable energy is the dream of all power supply companies, and we may literally be one step away from moving closer to that dream, at least in terms of a new source of lighting power. Mr Campbell-Cook has developed a new tile; a tile that once it is stepped on by the human foot, will generate a small amount of electricity. Stepped on by many feet, this small amount of energy can be banked up and stored and will accumulate into usable source of electricity.
Small is Beautiful
It’s the weight of a person stepping on the tile of that triggers a small (5mm) momentary depression in the position of the tile. Once the weight is removed tile springs back into its former position. It is this 5mm movement that is used to generate a small amount of power. When a tile like this, or any number of tiles, are installed in an area that receives heavy foot fall, a considerable suitable amount of energy can be initiated.
The only tests that have been carried out so far have been in relation to the lighting industry. But there is absolutely no reason why the same technology cannot be harnessed to produce a source of power for other industries too.
Successful Trial Already Completed
In order to be a viable proposition, the new tiles would have to be installed in the public domain. So for example, areas like railway stations, airports, and the busy shopping malls would all make prime targets. Although kept relatively quiet, tests have already been carried out, most notably at some of the transport hubs that were used during the Olympic Games staged in London last year. With over 1 million people stepping onto the new electricity generating tiles, it provided sufficient power to light the West Ham underground station complex.
Trip the Light Fandango
The tiles were also put to the test at a dance venue. An entire dance floor was constructed using the new tiles as the floor covering. The cavorting of the many dancers generated enough electricity to light the whole establishment. Talk about tripping the light fandango!
The tiles would be put to best economic use as part of a new construction. If it’s a case of fitting them retrospectively, then the cost of doing so would become significantly more expensive.
This new innovation is part of the ongoing market niche of “energy harvesting”. It’s the name given to the phenomenon of taking power from natural events that take place within our environment, and it promises to be a major contributor towards energy conservation in the coming future.
In the home environment, LED lighting is now becoming more and more popular because of its ability to use less power, and also because of its increased longevity over other forms of home lighting. GU 10 LED light bulbs will last up to 17 times longer than conventional halogen lamps. Not only do they last longer, but they draw significantly less power as well. They are a great way of saving energy and reducing household bills too.