Foot power lights up Olympic walkway

Olympic athletes like Usain Bolt will be hoping their foot power can snag them a gold medal this summer. But a million spectators will also be putting their feet to […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Olympic athletes like Usain Bolt will be hoping their foot power can snag them a gold medal this summer.

But a million spectators will also be putting their feet to good use with foot-powered lighting at the Games.

A temporary bridge leading to the Olympic Park from West Ham station will be lit round-the-clock by their footsteps during the London 2012 Games.

Twelve energy harvesting floor tiles along the walkway are expected to receive more than 12 million impressions, generating 72 million joules of energy – enough to power a small electric car for 397 laps of the Olympic athletics track.

When stepped on, the tile surface flexes just 5mm, converting kinetic energy to between five and seven watts over the duration of the footstep, depending on the force of the impact.

The award-winning British renewable technology by Pavegen Systems was commissioned by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA).

Hugh Sumner, ODA Transport Director said: “This foot-powered lighting system for one of the main walkways into the Olympic Park is just one of the many sustainable initiatives the ODA have deployed during the Games and will really get people thinking about how an individual can make a difference, while getting to and from their events.”