Could "Power Walking" fuel the energy revolution? India is ready to step up

January 19, 2021

India has an energy problem. It currently relies heavily on coal and consumer demand is expected to double by 2040, making its green energy targets look out of reach. Part of the solution could come from harvesting energy from footsteps, say Hari Anand and Binod Kumar Singh from the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies in Dehradun, India. Their new study, published in the De Gruyter journal Energy Harvesting and Systems, shows that Indian attitudes towards power generated through piezoelectric tiles are overwhelmingly positive.

Cities like Delhi and Mumbai are famously crowded, especially at railway stations, temples and big commercial buildings. This led researchers to wonder whether piezoelectric tiles, which produce energy through mechanical pressure, could turn this footfall into something useful.

Piezoelectric tiles are made using special materials, such as crystals and ceramics, in which electric charge builds up when mechanical stress is applied - such as a foot pressing down.

Anand and Singh ran a survey in which they explored how people in India view the reliability of their household power and what their attitudes were towards generating their own electricity. They also asked participants how much they walked on average and whether they would consider implementing piezoelectric tiles into their homes.

They found that more than one in five people suffered frequent power-cuts in their area, highlighting the potential benefits of household energy generators such a piezoelectric tiles. Around 40% of respondents said they walked for more than three hours a day, and roughly 70% were willing to produce their own electricity using their feet.

The researchers also suggest that while household tiles can be used to solve problems of energy reliability and generation for individual families, piezoelectric tiles will also be a good investment for public or commercial areas with heavy footfall. They estimate that for the cost of a single 1 kW solar panel, three times more power could be generated a year using piezoelectric tiles.

"As a gadget, the piezoelectric tiles can be attractive home décor that will also help in producing household electricity," says Singh. "In this paper the output generated through the piezoelectric tiles has been studied in comparison with solar power generation."

As the efficiency and durability of piezoelectric tiles improve and as the need for green solutions becomes more urgent, the researchers predict that this type of energy production will experience a boom on the green energy market.
The paper was published online ahead of print here:

De Gruyter

Related Electricity Articles from Brightsurf:

Mirror-like photovoltaics get more electricity out of heat
New heat-harnessing 'solar' cells that reflect 99% of the energy they can't convert to electricity could help bring down the price of storing renewable energy as heat, as well as harvesting waste heat from exhaust pipes and chimneys.

Engineers use electricity to clean up toxic water
Powerful electrochemical process destroys water contaminants, such as pesticides. Wastewater is a significant environment issue.

Considering health when switching to cleaner electricity
Power plants that burn coal and other fossil fuels emit not only planet-warming carbon dioxide, but also pollutants linked to breathing problems and premature death.

Windows will soon generate electricity, following solar cell breakthrough
Semi-transparent solar cells that can be incorporated into window glass are a 'game-changer' that could transform architecture, urban planning and electricity generation, Australian scientists say in a paper in Nano Energy.

Static electricity as strong as lightening can be saved in a battery
Prof. Dong Sung Kim and his joint research team presented a new technology that can increase the amount of power generated by a triboelectric nanogenerator.

To make amino acids, just add electricity
By finding the right combination of abundantly available starting materials and catalyst, Kyushu University researchers were able to synthesize amino acids with high efficiency through a reaction driven by electricity.

Using renewable electricity for industrial hydrogenation reactions
The University of Pittsburgh's James McKone's research on using renewable electricity for industrial hydrogenation reactions is featured in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A's Emerging Investigators special issue.

Water + air + electricity = hydrogen peroxide
A reactor developed by Rice University engineers produces pure hydrogen peroxide solutions from water, air and energy.

Producing electricity at estuaries using light and osmosis
Researchers at EPFL are working on a technology to exploit osmotic energy -- a source of power that's naturally available at estuaries, where fresh water comes into contact with seawater.

Experimental device generates electricity from the coldness of the universe
A drawback of solar panels is that they require sunlight to generate electricity.

Read More: Electricity News and Electricity Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to