The completed tile installation is just south of Dupont Circle at the Connecticut Avenue Overlook pocket park, a site chosen for its high foot traffic. The tiles will power 68 generators, providing energy for interactive light installations in the park. Step-fueled energy will also power LED lighting underneath granite seating along the Golden Triangle, the central business district encompassing K Street and Dupont Circle.
Officials behind the project, a collaboration between the clean-tech British company Pavegen and the D.C. government, say that the lights will be powered day and night to provide visibility and increase safety for pedestrians.
The tiles, created by Pavegen, use the weight of a step to fuel a rotational motion that creates energy, which can then be used to power generators. Each step produces up to 5 watts of power, meaning just one step can provide 30 seconds of power for an LED-powered street lamp.
Pavegen’s tiles grace walkways in more than 100 sites around the world, including at Heathrow Airport and Harrods department store in London. The Dupont Square installation is company’s first in the United States.