Design, simulation and experiment of a novel high efficiency energy harvesting paver

Mingyi Liu, Rui Lin, Shengxi Zhou, Yilun Yu, Aki Ishida, Margarita McGrath, Brook Kennedy, Muhammad Hajj, Lei Zuo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Harvesting energy from pedestrians can be used to power sensors in smart infrastructure, monitor structural health, and provide environmental sensing data. This paper presents a novel paver that efficiently harvests energy from human walking. Within the paver, a permanent magnetic motor is used as an electric generator. Racks, pinions, gears and a one-way-clutch are employed to convert the up-and-down motion of the paver's top panel to the unidirectional rotational motion of the electric generator. A flywheel is attached to the electric generator to take full advantage of the theoretically available potential energy during human walking. A dynamic model is developed with the consideration of Coulomb friction, electrical damping and mechanical damping. Based on the model, parameters of the energy harvesting paver are analyzed to optimize the harvested energy from human walking. The experimental results show that, during typical human walking, the energy harvesting paver can produce an average electrical power of 3.6 W, with a peak value of 12 W. The average harvested energy is 1.8 J per step. The roles of the flywheel and electrical load in changing the amount of harvested energy are discussed. The flywheel's influence to energy harvesting in walking, fast walking and running conditions are compared and discussed. The energy harvesting paver has potential applications in high-volume pedestrian paths and areas such as sport arenas, airports, railway stations, shopping malls, offices and apartment blocks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)966-975
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Energy
StatePublished - 15 Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Energy harvesting paver
  • Flywheel
  • Footstep energy harvesting
  • High efficiency
  • Modeling
  • One-way-clutch


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