Smart home systems can adjust your home’s temperature, lights, and security, but, until recently, there hasn’t been much smart technology associated with flooring. Now, as some of these smart flooring technologies come to the market, they’ll have a big impact on homes and businesses. One such clean energy, smart technology is piezoelectric flooring.
What is piezoelectricity and how does it work?
Greener and more efficient energy solutions like harvesting wind and solar power are becoming more mainstream. Piezoelectricity harvests electrical energy from mechanical pressure. When pressure is applied on an object, a negative charge is created on the expanded side and a positive charge is created on the compressed side. As pressure is relieved, an electrical current flows across the substance.
Piezoelectric floors can convert wasted energy from human foot traffic into electricity to store or redistribute as needed. A person’s weight, maximum deflection, and type of movement will determine the amount of energy generated. An average footfall yields seven watts of power, which is enough power to run a modern LED streetlight bulb for 30 seconds.
What does it mean for homes and businesses?
The energy created in piezoelectric floors can add up fast, making it a viable energy source that can be stored within batteries, and then used to power lighting as needed.
Where is it already being used?
Piezoelectric flooring has already been installed in nursing homes, London’s Heathrow Airport, and in LED-laden dance floors that light up solely by the kinetic energy generated by dancers. At Super Bowl 50, in the Hyundai Blue Drive Lounge, piezoelectric flooring was used to create a human-powered selfie station. Guests walked, danced, or ran in place to generate enough power to take a selfie. Shell is currently creating a kinetic AstroTurf to channel athletes’ footfalls into renewable energy.
Currently costing around $150 per square foot, piezoelectric tiles haven’t quite gone mainstream yet, but it is so exciting to think of how this technology will become more common. As for current “smart” flooring choices, we will help you make the smartest choices for your family when when it comes to carpet, tile, hardwoods, and laminate.
At Flacks we have grown since 1993 because we have changed and adjusted to our customers’ needs. We are always on top of trends in flooring and look forward to all the exciting flooring options the future holds. But you can be sure that one thing will never change at Flacks, our customer is always #1!