Based on a concept developed by Laurence Kemball-Cook at Loughborough University, pavegen has prototyped and produced paving slabs which can convert the energy from footsteps into electricity. The slabs are designed to be easy to install and repair, and are manufactured locally and sustainably, using recycled lorry tyres for the upper service. Usually pavegen slabs have central lights which light up when they have been stepped on, but which use only 5% of the electricity – the rest can be stored in batteries and used to power lighting, advertising or even ticket machines in train and underground stations.
Pavegen is being used on a dance floor to power disco lights at Bestival in September (see www.bestival.net ), and anticipates that this will be the first of many. Similarly, Pavegen has proven popular in schools (www.pavegenontour.co.uk) as a way of educating and enthusing schoolchildren about green issues. The goal for the i-Team is to investigate an emerging opportunity for short-term installations of the pavegen systems.