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Spark In Your Step: Paris Marathon Runners Will Generate Electricity With Pavgen System

Apr 05, 2013 01:41 PM EDT
Pavgen tiles like these will be in place along a portion of the Paris Marathon course to harvest the energy produced as the runners step on them.
(Photo : Pavgen )

It takes a lot of energy to fuel the body through the 26.2 miles in a marathon. According to Livestrong, a man of average build can burn around 3,000 calories by the time he crosses the finish line. Imagine the energy necessary to get a crowd of tens of thousands through the race.

That's just what the innovative British technology firm Pavgen Systems did when it developed a floor tile designed to collect the kinetic energy dispersed by people as they move across it.

Their system will be in place along a 82-foot stretch of the Champs Elysees in Paris during the upcoming Paris Marathon, Bloomberg News reports, ensuring that at least a portion of the tremendous energy expended by that race's 40,000 runners does not go entirely to waste.

Each step can generate up to eight watts of kinetic energy, which if captured by the Pavgen tiles, can be used immediately to power off-grid things like display screens and electronic signs along the route.

According to Bloomberg, Pavegen declined to report how much energy the tiles will produce during the marathon because it is running a competition for the public to guess. However, if total energy produced by the runners exceeds 7 kilowatt hours, race sponsor Schneider Electric will donate 10,000 euros ($12,850) to charity. Seven kilowatt hours is enough energy to power a light bulb for about five days.

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