Power-generating pavement firm crowdsources $1m in two days

Innovation

Power-generating pavement firm crowdsources $1m in two days

29 May 2015 | By Rod Sweet | 3 Comments

A young clean-tech firm that generates power from pedestrians is celebrating success beyond its wildest dreams after raising more than $1m in crowdfunding just two days after its campaign went live.

Pavegen CEO Laurence Kemball-Cook, who developed the power-generating street-tile concept in 2009, said yesterday that the public support for the technology was “overwhelming”.

On 26 May the crowdfunding campaign went live on the Crowdcube platform, with hopes of raising £750,000 ($1.15m) in 40 days.

In 24 hours Pavegen raised half that and, by the end of yesterday, had surpassed the target, raising £762,390 ($1.17m) with 535 investors, making Pavegen the fastest grossing clean-tech company in Crowdcube’s history.

“It’s been an amazing journey,” said 29-year-old Kemball-Cook in a statement. “The support we’ve received from the public has been overwhelming, and I’m grateful for each investment that has brought us closer towards our final goals.”

He added: “If we can raise £750k in 2 days, imagine what we could accomplish over the remaining 38 days!”

Pavegen makes tiles that capture energy from footsteps through a combination of electromagnetic induction and flywheel energy storage technologies.

The system produces up to 7 watts of electricity from one person walking across a short space.

The company has a number of eye-catching installations around the world that are limited in scale.

Pavegen’s biggest installation to date is 200 tiles on a local football pitch redeveloped by Shell, the oil company, in Rio de Janeiro (Pavegen)

They include a short walkway at Sandton City shopping mall in Johannesburg, a 10-tile installation at London’s Canary Wharf that powers two streetlights, and a 14-tile patch outside a busy train station in Saint Omer, France, which powers some LED lighting and two USB ports for charging electronic devices.

Its biggest installation to date is 200 tiles on a local football pitch redeveloped by Shell, the oil company, in a favela in Rio de Janeiro. The tiles, with help from solar panels, light the pitch.

The firm claims that its combination of technologies is unique, and wants it to become standard in high-traffic pedestrian routes.

That’s why this fundraising drive is intended to pay for the next stage of development – cutting production costs so that their tiles cost the same as regular flooring.

Crowdcube is an investment crowdfunding platform that lets anyone invest alongside professional investors in start-up, early stage and growth businesses through equity, debt and investment fund options.

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Pavegen tiles generate electricity outside a train station in Saint Omer, France (Pavegen)