Monday, April 12, 2010

More Free Power For Every One!

I have always enjoyed visiting Toulouse, France. The picture above gives a pretty good feel of the ambience. A city of various shades of rose bricks. The space in the picture is the huge square of La Capitole. Central Toulouse is basically a pedestrian town, there is a  subway, small busses, rental and free bikes, but the narrow, pedestrian streets and huge open spaces give the city a human scale which is intimate and grand at the same time.

This weekend, Toulouse initiated an innovative new project which uses the natural energy of the thousands of pedestrians on the street to provide free power for street lights. 
In a two-week energy-saving trial, a group of paving slabs installed in the city center can generate 30 watts of electricity, enough to power overhead street lights.
"It is an experiment for now, but this system, unique in the world, allows us to anticipate a whole series of applications for the city," the deputy mayor in charge of sustainable development, Alexandre Marciel, told Reuters.
The paving slabs contain micro-sensors which capture the energy created by people walking on them, and store it in a battery.
This could enable the city to collect electricity during the day for use at night when there are fewer people on the streets.
The system is also being tested in Amsterdam and Shanghai, China. 
The pavement was invented by Dutch firm Jaap Van der Braak.


mud_rake said...

"The paving slabs contain micro-sensors which capture the energy created by people walking on them..."

Brilliant, no pun intended. Creative genius. Not only that, but a society willing to embrace such 'new' innovations.

It is disturbingly interesting that here in America, we line up for days awaiting a chance to buy the newest electronic toy, game or device, yet we throw our full support behind fossil fuels for out cars, factories and houses.

What's up with that???

Engineer of Knowledge said...

Hello Microdot,
What a great picture of Toulouse. I being of the electrical engineering background I just loved the electrical generation from walking on the sidewalks. Good Posting!!

steve said...

Cars go "Vrooom Vroooom" and imply aggression and status

Electric cars go "Whiiir whiiir" implying a "lib" like homosexuality and weak euro surrender monkey mentality.

Better those boys across the street join the Marines and go procure me some oil than Me, a tough rugged individual (collecting state disability), drive some Eurofag mobile! NEVER!!! I would rather the blood of a hundred thousand American patriots (other than those from my immediate circle of friends and family) be shed to protect our true Red White and Blue American values! Freedom Fries Frenchy!!

microdot said...

I am breaking zee wind inna your general direction, Yankee Dog Peegboy!
Maintenent, assisez-vous, restez calme. Voulez-vous voudrais une autre bonne verre de chablis et du bonne fois gras?
Peut-etre vous desirez a vue la carte? Ou essayez la plat-du-jour?

Batboy said...

Great story. we don't get much of that here in Nice. There's always plenty of money lying around to bulldoze the beach flat and truck in tons of sand for the beach volley-ball courts though. Does that count as ecological?