Could Makkah Grand Mosque Be Powered Using Footsteps?

Two Saudi researchers have just patented a technology for an idea to generate electricity by walking on small pistons placed under floors.

There is a possibility this technology could be suitable for places such as the Grand Mosques in Makkah and Medina by transforming movements of the faithful within the mosques into energy that would be used to power the mosques.

“We took years to register this patent,” said Dr. Abdul Hamid Al Khatib, assistant professor of medical engineering at King Abdulaziz University, Gulf News reported.

Al Khatib explained this technology works by “pressing small pistons that are placed under the floors, and the generated energy is collected in batteries for the time of need,” noting that it is suitable for places where the number of pedestrians is large over long distances.

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The new patent came as the world is looking for clean energies.

Al Khatib stressed that no expensive material or equipment were needed to operate this invention.

“You can use ordinary tiles with pistons underneath. And we use a liquid that may be water, oil, or inert gases. When the pistons are pressed, turbines similar to those that generate power through air or water move,” he said.

Walking is the most common activity in day-to-day life. When a person walks, he loses energy to the road surface in the form of impact, vibration, sound etc. This energy can be tapped and converted in the usable form such as in electrical form.

In order to develop a technique to harness foot step energy, a foot step electricity generating device was developed in the Reactor Control Division, BARC.

This device, if embedded in the footpath, can convert foot impact energy into electrical form. The working principle is simple.

American sustainable energy company, Pavegen, has also developed interactive installations with technology that harvests energy from pedestrian footsteps.