Advertisement hoardings and ticket machines at two railway stations in Japanese capital Tokyo are being powered by electricity generated by walking commuters.
Special flooring tiles have been installed in front of ticket turnstiles, which store the vibration created by passengers' steps as energy.
AdvertisementEast Japan Railway reckons that about 400,000 people use Tokyo Station on an average day, and their movements are enough to generate sufficient energy to light up electronic signboards.
"We are just testing the system at the moment to examine its full potential," the Telegraph quoted Takuya Ikeba, a spokesman for JR East, as saying.
Ikeba revealed that the tiles were constructed of layers of rubber sheeting, to absorb the vibrations, and ceramic.
The 'Power Generation Floor' created by Soundpower Corp. has also been installed at the sprawling Shibuya Station, which is used by about 2.4 million people on an average week day.
"An average person, weighing 60 kg, will generate only 0.1 watt in the single second required to take two steps across the tile," said Yoshiaki Takuya, a planner with Soundpower Corp.
"But when they are covering a large area of floor space and thousands of people are stepping or jumping on them, then we can generate significant amounts of power," Takuya added.
He has revealed that the energy thus generated is stored in certain capacitors.
He says that this power can be channelled to energy-hungry parts of the station, including the electrical lighting system and the ticket gates.