THere at Skip It, we’re proud to be a green company, recycling almost everything that is thrown into our skips. We love anything that helps to protect the environment – and these new inventions are no exception!
Pavegen floor tiles are a recent development that has reinvented the way we create sustainable energy. The tiles generate electricity by using the kinetic energy from pedestrian’s footsteps; five to seven watts of energy is generated from one footstep.
A Pavegen tile installation was set up at West Ham tube station in 2012 and at the London Olympic Park. The kinetic energy from the Olympic Park powered 12 LED floodlights. It only took 12 tiles along a walkway at the park to generate 72 million joules of energy which kept the streetlamps illuminated at full power through the night, and at half power during the day.
This technology has gone on to power soccer pitches in Brazil and Nigeria, a hallway in Heathrow Airport, and offices and shopping centres in London.
At the Centre for Negative Carbon Emissions at Arizona State University, researchers discovered a resin that can collect carbon dioxide at lower concentrations when the material is dry. The carbon dioxide that it gathers could be stored underground and used to feed algae for biofuel production. The researchers are working to turn this resin into an artificial tree which can grab 1,000 times the amount of carbon dioxide than a real tree of equal size. They’ve also been experimenting with other ways of using the material in order to maximise its use. For instance, they’ve tried run it through a pasta maker and weave it into a rug!
Solar Roadways is an initiative created by husband-and-wife entrepreneurs Julie and Scott Brusaw. They invented 4.4 square feet hexagonal blocks made from tempered glass that can replace conventional concrete and asphalt. Each block contains a built-in solar panel that is capable of generating up to 44 watts of electrical current. The solar panels also have similar traction to conventional asphalt so this material should not impair anyone’s ability to drive.
Another great detail of these blocks are the LED lights that display bright lane markings which can be seen during the day and reprogrammed if drivers need to shift lanes. When energy is diverted to the power heating elements, they can help reduce snow and ice building up on the roads in winter.
This clever invention could save money on road maintenance and generate energy by wiring it into the grid. Solar Roadways has already been tested on part of route 66, and we look forward to seeing the project grow.
Technology can play an integral part in helping the environment and we think these new inventions are a big step in the right information. Why not find out how we do our bit to save the planet here at Skip It?