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Walkway with Renewable Power Source May Be in Our Near Future

Walkway with Renewable Power Source May Be in Our Near Future
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Rayworks Design unveiled a concept design for a futuristic walkway

Jason Brick
  • 1 december 2014

This year’s Taipei International Design Competition drew hundreds of innovative designs for over $50,000 USD in total prize money, plus the access to venture capital and production help that winning such a high-profile contest can provide. Among the ideas submitted with the most potential is Rayworks Design’s design for a “regenerative walkway.”

This model for a covered walkway incorporates green energy technology to provide all of the electricity the walkway requires, plus a surplus to feed power back into a city’s grid.

From inside, the covered walkway looks like any other: a sheltered area with one wall and a ceiling for pedestrian traffic, lined with monitors for display, information and advertising. It’s the roof of the structure that makes the design interesting.

Regenerative-walkway-turbines-rayworks-design

The roof’s surface features lines with photovoltaic cells to generate electricity during daylight hours. Each stantion of the walkway is topped with a vertical-axis windmill (windmills with rotors that spin parallel to the ground rather than perpendicular to it). These two sources generate as much or more power than needed to keep the lights and displays for the walkway on, and can produce excess power depending on where the walkway is deployed.

Although the walkway is merely in the design stage, all of its key components exist as fully operational technologies. Funding and logistics are the only serious barriers to turning this design into a prototype.

Rayworks’ walkway is obtaining attention at the right moment: when renewable energy is finally receiving serious civil engineering attention. Germany’s advancements in implementing solar power and San Francisco’s addition of solar-powered bus shelters are just two examples of this trend from this year alone. With some development muscle behind the design, PSFK looks forward to reporting its implementation in the not-too-distant future.

Regenerative-walkway-section-rayworks-design

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