1223.918575 billion kilowatts of energy are used per year in the United States with lighting alone. (the SI unit of power, equivalent to one joule per second, corresponding to the power in an electric circuit in which the potential difference is one volt and the current one ampere). When designing the power walk we had this problem in mind. It was designed to cut on energy consumption and cut down on energy waste due to its proximity to the lights. The transmission over long distances creates power losses. The major part of the energy losses comes from Joule effect in transformers and power lines. The energy is lost as heat in the conductors. The overall losses between the power plant and consumers is then in the range between 8 and 15% This means for every day that ticks by we are closer to a completely polluted atmosphere and no more ice caps.
We attempted to create a tile that produced electricity when walked on that would power a small LED lightbulb. Our invention unfortunately was not successful in that we did not meet our goal. The reason we did not meet our goal stemmed from a last-minute design change that we didn’t have time to fully research. That design required piezoelectric ceramic disks that generate electricity through impact, or kinetic energy. Due to our lack of experience in this area and the sophisticated nature of these technologies, we could not create a working prototype. However, we do not consider our attempt at inventing this tile a failure. First, we learned a lot about piezoelectricity and kinetic energy. Second, we discovered the existence of a product called Pavegen, a tile produced by a European company that creates renewable kinetic energy as people walk on it and reduces energy waste—which was actually our original goal. Third, we learned what the scientific method actually involves. Most inventors and scientists work for years on experiments before they find success, and we can now better appreciate their efforts. Finally, we learned how to work through demanding circumstances as a group. We can use all of these experiences on our next project!