The Null Device

Passenger power in Japan

The East Japan Railway Company is experimenting with making its stations more environmentally friendly by harnessing the energy-generating potential of passengers as they pass through ticket gates:
The ticket gate electricity generation system relies on a series of piezo elements embedded in the floor under the ticket gates, which generate electricity from the pressure and vibration they receive as people step on them. When combined with high-efficiency storage systems, the ticket gate generators can serve as a clean source of supplementary power for the train stations. Busy train stations (and those with large numbers of passengers willing to bounce heavily through the gates) will be able to accumulate a relatively large amount of electricity.
The system is being tested at the company's offices in Shibuya, though is expected to be rolled out in actual stations if this is successful.

Though would such a system really be able to generate a non-negligible amount of electricity? And, given that the passenger gates don't involve the passenger actually pushing anything as crude as a turnstile, how long until someone starts fitting footpaths with something similar? If it takes more energy from the walker to traverse than otherwise, they could even market it as an integrated exercise facility.

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