Nagpur: A young city engineer, Mandar Tulankar, has developed a flooring system in which pressure exerted by a person walking on the floor helps generate electricity.
One footstep or footfall generates about 10W of energy. It is an ideal solution for high footfall areas like railway stations, airports, malls, offices and apartment blocks.
Nagpur railway station on Saturday night installed one of Tulankar’s ‘energy floors’ at the main entrance on Platform 1. His experiment is lighting up four 25W LED bulbs from 6pm to 6am.
“The floor can generate much more energy than this. Unfortunately it is not ideally placed. It should be at ground level. Here it is immediately after a slope.
When people are stepping up from a slope they are stumbling and becoming conscious and not walking the entire floor. Every footfall generates minimum 10W of electricity.
Here, I am able to tap just 30% of the energy. The electricity generated can be either stored in a battery or fed into grid directly,” said Tulankar.
The idea for the innovation came from a similar use of footfall in discos etc by Energy Floors, a Netherlands-based company. It was using the footfall energy for interactive displays. “We have tied up with Energy Floors for manufacturing the floors that can be used to generate electricity. At Nagpur station is the first ever display of converting the footfalls into electricity.
Our company, Zero Point Energy Pvt Ltd, will manufacture these floors for Energy Floors. First I am supposed to submit a report on my demonstration to Research Design Standard Organization (RDSO), an independent railway body to clear such projects,” said Tulankar.
Without sharing the details of the technology, Tulankar stated energy floors could be customized and could have steel, wood or carpet, corian (mix of acrylic polymers and stone) as base material. These could be installed rural areas at certain paths or pavements so the village becomes self-sufficient in electricity.
“The technology is in development stage and not patented yet hence we can’t share all details,” said Tulankar who won the best innovation of the year award in 2012 for the idea in GSEA New York International finale and has been working on developing it since 2013.
Tulankar claimed that in places like Mumbai where as many as 1 lakh people walk in and out of a station, this flooring could produce significant amount of energy. He is in touch with the top five MNCs in India for CSR funding for the project if the railways give okay it for implementation.
The concept, he said, could also be used using vehicular movements at certain places like the parking lots. “In the long run I aim to give railways at least 50% of its electricity using this technology,” he said.
Other partners in the project include Parth Majumdar, director, and Praveen Sharma, design head.