Energy Harvesting Technology on London Streets
Bird Street, London launched an interactive lane with tiles on June 29, 2017, making it the first energy harvesting smart street.
The project was launched by a company called Pavegen, who aimed at capturing energy from steps taken by visitors walking over tiles. This then generates power to trigger sounds of birds chirping and nighttime light being displayed along the avenue.
The energy producing tiled array measures around 108 square feet. This pathway powers low-energy Bluetooth transmitters which are embedded in this 10 meter long pathway. The transmitters within these tiles interact with apps in order to provide walkers beneficial data about the number of steps taken and about how much energy is produced by those steps.
The walkers also advantage in this process, as they receive vouchers and discounts for a variety of shops along the street, according to a source.
The same city has introduced a ‘CleanAir Bench’ built by Airlabs, with an aim to provide fresh air amidst the urban air pollution experienced in the city. The bench has eight fans placed within its construction to draw in polluted air. This air is then internally processed to eliminate around 95 percent of nitrogen dioxide — an urban pollutant. Once it extracts nitrogen dioxide, fresh, clean air is exhaled by the bench for seated users to enjoy.
“From air pollution and climate change to housing and transport, new technologies and data science will be at the heart of the long-term solutions to urban challenges,” said Khan, the mayor of the city.
This smart street will unveil new innovative technologies and will stand as an inspiration for other cities around the globe to take on the challenge for energy harvesting to address social, economic and environmental issues.
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