Commuter generated electricity used to light up Christmas lights

According to a LetsJapan article, special panels have been installed outside Shibuya station in Tokyo that generate electricity when commuters walk over them. The panels were installed by the Shibuya ward government and are set up near the Hachiko dog statue outside Shibuya station.

As Shibuya station is one of the busiest stations in Tokyo it is an appropriate location for the panels. Living in Asia you witness armies of people marching through busy train stations every day. Any innovation that can harness this energy is a positive development.

The panels are 90 square centimeters and 4 of them were installed beside each other. The panels are 2.5 centimeter thick piezoelectric mats and a person weighing 60kg can generate 0.5W by stepping on the panel twice.

The electricity generated is used to run an electronic light emitting display board in the Shibuya plaza which continuously updates the total amount of electricity generated. A small Christmas lights display is also powered by the piezoelectric panels. The floor panel can withstand light rain but is not completely waterproof and are scheduled to remain until December 25.

The panels were developed by a company called Soundpower Corp. and can be rented for a fee according to their website. The panels come in various sizes and versions and can be used for research and educational purposes.

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