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Energy Produced from Footsteps Could Help Address India’s Reliance on Coal

India has been dealing with energy issues in recent years. At present, the country depends heavily on coal, and it is predicted that consumer demand will double by 2040, rendering its green energy goals look out of range.

According to Hari Anand and Binod Kumar Singh from the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies in Dehradun, India, one part of the solution can be realized by harvesting energy from footsteps.

Their latest study was reported in the De Gruyter journal Energy Harvesting and Systems. The report indicates that Indian attitudes toward power produced via piezoelectric tiles are irresistibly positive.

Mumbai and Delhi are cities that are popularly crowded, particularly at temples, big commercial buildings, and railway stations. This made the scientists question if piezoelectric tiles, which generate energy via mechanical pressure, could transform this footfall into something beneficial.

Piezoelectric tiles are made up of unique materials, like ceramics and crystals, in which electric charges accumulate upon applying mechanical stress—like a foot pressing down.

Anand and Singh created a survey where they examined how people in India looked at the reliability of their household power and what their attitudes were toward producing their own electricity. Also, they questioned participants how much they walked on average and if they would think of implementing piezoelectric tiles into their homes.

They discovered that over one in five people experienced frequent power-cuts in their area, emphasizing the possible advantages of household energy generators like piezoelectric tiles. About 40% of respondents stated that they walked for over 3 hours per day, and approximately 70% were ready to generate their own electricity with the help of their feet.

Moreover, the scientists indicate that while household tiles can be utilized to resolve issues of energy reliability and production for individual families, piezoelectric tiles will also be an ideal investment for commercial or public areas with huge footfall. They predict that compared to the price of a single 1 kW solar panel, three times more power could be produced per year by utilizing piezoelectric tiles.

As a gadget, the piezoelectric tiles can be attractive home décor that will also help in producing household electricity. In this paper the output generated through the piezoelectric tiles has been studied in comparison with solar power generation.

Binod Kumar Singh, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies

The researchers anticipate that this kind of energy production will experience a boom in the green energy market with the improvement in the durability and efficiency of piezoelectric tiles and as the requirement for green solutions turns out to be more crucial.

Journal Reference:

Anand, H & Singh, B K (2021) Piezoelectric energy generation in India: an empirical investigation. Energy Harvesting and Systems.

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