Piezo-electric power generated lighting
Singapore, 14th May 2010
And now for something completely different…… 🙂
I have been talking about renewable energy such as solar and wind energy etc, but missed out on one of the most logical power sources… our own human body! When we move and are in action we produce energy, through our weight and speed! Piezo-electric power generating technology has been around for some time but is only now becoming more popular because of the increasing drive to become sustainable.
In our search for an illuminated dance floor in a bar cum night club for one of our projects we found a company that is offering interactive LED dance floors, activated by the energy of the dancers. The LED floor modules have embedded micro sensors that generate electricity through the piezo effect. When squeezed by the pressure from the dancers on the floor above, electricity is generated that then powers RGB LED’s. With the lighting effects reacting to the varying pressure it is easy to see how this technology adds to the fun of dancing and encourages moving and dancing to change the effects. It is credited of being the first sustainable dance floor!
A totally different application of this technology is being researched and tested for urban street lighting. In this case the energy provided by pedestrians pressuring tiles in the pavement is used to generate the electricity to run the street lights. Combined with the use of LED street lighting to minimize the energy intake, this can potentially be a very interesting way to create sustainable lighting solutions. This application has some different technological requirements as a strolling pedestrian walking on a pavement creates much lower energy levels then a hip hopping person on a dance floor. The idea here of course is to have the lights only on when needed, directly interactive with usage.
Though the cost is still a prohibitive factor I am sure that like solar energy, this technology has a promising and very interesting future ahead.
PS: This is a You Tube link to a video clip of the dance floor, have a look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNBOfUwRLgw&feature=player_embedded