Abu Dhabi International Airport has recently launched an interactive walkway that turns passengers’ footsteps into an energy to operate the lighting along the walkways.
Masdar, the Dubai’s clean energy company, has made the project in collaboration with UK’s Pavegen – the company which has been providing the commercial smart-flooring solution for smart cities around the world since 2009. While the technology is widely used throughout UK Airports, this is the first smart floor to be integrated into the Middle East.
The technology works in the following way. The tiles are spread across the floor with interlocking triangles. The conventional tiles made from wood pulp or rubber are equipped with cellulose nanofiber materials. When fibers get chemically treated, they produce an electrical charge which can be harnessed to power lights or charge the batteries. The rubber is comparatively cheap material and it is usually derived from the waste of several industrial processes. Every time someone steps on the tile, the tiles generate seven watts of power. The energy is then stored within batteries, and then used to power lighting when it’s needed.
The Abu Dhabi International Airport has tracked 8,000 travelers per day using the technology. However, electric power is not the only thing that can be generated by tiles. When you step on the floor it also sends out the wireless data. You can do anything out of this data, including tracking how many people are walking during the day, or even converting steps to digital currency (if you are affected with bitcoin madness). The Abu Dhabi airport has equipped the floor with nice visuals so that you could see how much power you are generating.
The clean power is already taking its way to major Airports of the World and others are following slowly. You can find the list of the world’s most environmentally friendly airports in 2018 here.