University of Hertfordshire

Powering lights with piezoelectric energy harvesting floors

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)906-916
JournalEnergy Technology
Journal publication date9 May 2018
Volume6
Issue5
Early online date6 Mar 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2018

Abstract

The present work introduces a new technology for converting energy from steps into electricity. It starts with a study of the mechanical energy available from steps in a busy corridor. The subsequent development efforts and devices are presented, with an iterative approach to prototyping. Methods for enhancing the piezoelectric conversion efficiency have been determined as a part of the process and are introduced in the present article. Capitalizing on these findings, we have fabricated energy-harvesting devices for stairs that power embedded emergency lighting. The typical working unit comprises an energy-harvesting stair nosing, a power management circuit, and an embedded light-emitting diode that lights the tread in front of the user with an illuminance corresponding to emergency standards. The stair nosing generates up to 17.7 mJ of useful electrical energy per activation to provide up to 10.6 seconds of light. The corresponding energy density is 0.49 J per meter square and per step, with an 8.5 mm thick active layer.

Notes

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Onoriu Puscasu, Nathan Counsell, Mohammad R. Herfatmanesh, Richard Peace, John Patsavellas, and Rodney Day, ‘Powering Lights with Piezoelectric Energy‐Harvesting Floors’, Energy Technology, Vol. 6 (5): 906-916, May 2018, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1002/ente.201700629. Under embargo until 6 March 2019. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

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