How this new traffic intersection is harnessing the power of footsteps to create energy
Harnessing the power of footsteps
Piezoelectric floors are a newer technology with applications that go beyond just power generation. They can be used for everything from generating sound waves to detecting steps and even harvesting energy from human movement.
The kinetic road plates at your local supermarket may be powered by the weight of vehicles driving over them, and they're just one example of an increasingly common trend that uses piezoelectricity to power technology inside buildings.
When college students came together to design a new traffic intersection, they didn't know that their project would lead the way for an entire field of power. The theories behind piezoelectricity have been around since World War I but it's only recently been applied in modern technology like smartphones and other gadgets with motors or vibrations built in! These young innovators were studying engineering at Mass when one student brought up how this could be used as energy storage - storing electricity generated from footsteps into batteries which generate greater speeds than usual because there are more charges stored simultaneously.
Piezoelectric plates are installed under the crosswalk so that vibrations and pressure fluctuations caused by cars, pedestrians or even buses can be converted into electricity.
The electricity is then used for powering street lamps near you as well as other electronics located nearby! It's an awesome idea if we think about how much easier it would make things in metropolises like New York City where there always seem to be multiple traffic lights going off at once.