Soccer field lights powered by kids’ pounding feet

soccer field lights

© Pavegen

A new project helps give kids a safe place to play soccer in a Rio de Janeiro favela by using kinetic-energy harvesting tiles to produce electricity for keeping the lights on.

Pavegen, a company who has experience capturing the power of human feet from installing tiles to be run over during the Paris Marathon to creating a kinetic-energy powered sidewalk at the London Olympics, built the project through a partnership with Shell.

The field features the tiles underneath a layer of astroturf as well as a few solar PV panels around the perimeter of the field. The two technologies together generate electricity which is stored on site and then used to power the field’s floodlights.

© Pavegen

“We have taken this idea from a bedroom in London to a football pitch in Brazil through our partnership with Shell, encouraging young innovators of the future to make a real difference in their community,” said Pavegen’s 28 year-old founder and CEO Laurence Kemball-Cook. “In the two weeks on site in the community, children helped complete the installation. It was a real life science experiment that didn’t stop when school ended for the day.”

The company estimates that the tiles should provide up to 10 hours of illumination from a full battery, meaning neighborhood kids will always have a safe, well-lit place to kick the ball around. The tile system includes a wireless Application Programming Interface (API) that collects real-time data, which can be transmitted to predetermined web addresses for analysis.

Now throw the kids a Soccket ball — a soccer ball outfitted with an energy harvester that can be used for powering LED lanterns or charging cell phones — and then you’re really talking about the power of play.

See a video about the project featuring soccer legend Pelé below.
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