Powering lights with piezoelectric energy harvesting floors

Onoriu Puscasu, Nathan Counsell, Mohammad Herfatmanesh, Richard Peace, John Patsavellas, Rodney Day

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
61 Downloads (Pure)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)906-916
Number of pages11
JournalEnergy Technology
Issue number5
Early online date6 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2018


  • building integration
  • energy harvesting
  • light-emitting diodes
  • piezoelectrics
  • smart electronics


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