Three students from Iqra University, Karachi campus have developed electricity generating tiles. The device produces electricity when you walk on it, a concept of energy harvesting using wood and artificial glass. The device converts kinetic energy into electricity and according to the students, if the tiles are installed in an area of 300 meters, they can generate enough electricity to charge 7 to 8 batteries of UPS in just 2 hours.
While the same project has been done in foreign countries, like the SolarCity project by Elon Musk which integrates solar panels within roof tiles to generate electricity and then we have the Pavegan system which integrates the same concept used by these students on a commercial level. All these systems will pave the way towards the implementation of smart cities on a global level and generate energy through sustainable means.
The group members, Ghalib Nadeem, Hafiz Waleed, and Ali Akbar, have managed to generate electricity by using a piezoelectric sensor utilizing crystals which in turn produce electricity when pressure is exerted on them. A piezoelectric sensor is used to measure the change in acceleration, pressure, temperature or strain, etc. According to the group, the tiles require minimum maintenance and can be used up to 3 to 4 years provided there is no water seepage.
The tiles have been made with locally available materials and it took them approximately 3.5 years to make a commercially available product. The research work and manufacturing cost around Rs. 120,000 due to the inexperience of the students when they started off. This cost can be reduced if the tiles are manufactured on a large scale.
The group along with their mentor are currently in talks with industry professionals and interested parties for practical applications of this project.
Featured Image: Pavegen