UK Cleantech Scales up for Paris Marathon
Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management, has commissioned an award-winning British cleantech firm to capture the kinetic energy from runners and spectators at this year’s Schneider Electric Paris Marathon, in the largest ever install of their unique technology.
Pavegen Systems will install over 25 metres of their energy harvesting tiles on the runner’s course, spectator-viewing platforms, and at other key points along the route.
Pavegen’s innovative design converts the kinetic energy of footfall into electricity that is stored in a battery or used to power various applications such as street lighting, advertising, information displays, and communications technology. The Pavegen tiles flex 5mm when stepped on, converting up to 8 watts of kinetic energy over the duration of the footstep, i.e. 8 joules.
Installed at sites around the world, including the London 2012 Games, the Pavegen tiles contain wireless technology that transmits data on renewable energy amounts generated by each unit. This information can be sent to any designated website for access by smartphone or computer. During the marathon, which Schneider Electric is sponsoring in a four-year deal, the data will be displayed on giant screens at strategic points along the street course.
In a gamification twist, the marathon audiences watching in Paris and around the world will compete via a Facebook page to predict how much off-grid power the Pavegen tiles will harvest during the marathon. The most accurate estimate will win VIP access to next year’s race and the next best 50 estimates will receive prizes of GPS-enabled Garmin running watches.
If the runners and spectators manage to generate more than 7000 watt hours the Schneider Electric and its Foundation will increase their donation to “Habitat et Humanisme” from €50,000 to €60,000. The NGO will use the funds to help support its work with energy management for housing in local areas such as Île-de-France.
Laurence Kemball-Cook, 27, inventor of the technology and CEO of Pavegen Systems says:
“Pavegen could play a key role in the smart cities of the future. Imagine if your run or walk to work could help to power the lights for your return journey home in the evening.
The marathon installation will help more communities and organisations see the opportunity for a viable new type of off-grid energy technology that people love to use and which can make a low-carbon contribution wherever there is high footfall, regardless of the weather.”
Aaron Davis, Schneider Electric’s Chief Marketing Officer said: “The mission of Schneider Electric is to help people make the most of their energy, by becoming more efficient, reducing energy waste, fighting against climate change for example, each time carrying out wide-ranging collective actions engaging as many people as possible.
“In the long-term, our ambition is to make the Schneider Electric Paris Marathon the first energy positive race in the world.”
For the Paris Marathon on Sunday 7th April, Pavegen tiles will span the iconic Champs-Élysées to form a renewable energy section of the course, where over 50,000 runners will compete to win the 26 mile and 385 yard (42.195 km) race. Pavegen tiles will also be at the Running Expo entrance where competitors collect their race numbers, bibs and RFID tags for race timing, and where visitors can access stalls and information both before and during the race.
Spectators at the annual Paris race will also be involved via energy-generating viewing platforms on either side of the course. ‘Energy pods’ will encourage spectators to use the energy harvesting technology and learn more about the energy output of the Pavegen units, helping them to make more accurate total energy estimates to win the competition.
“We have a disruptive product,” concludes Kemball-Cook, “our partners in the energy and infrastructure have been quick to grasp the potential of a system that can be seamlessly integrated into existing architecture to generate electricity, without being connected to the grid. This installation represents another significant milestone in the ‘upscaleing’ of Pavegen’s unique energy solution.”
Video simulation of Pavegen at 2013 Schneider Paris Marathon Download link: http://we.tl/yBb78DC1Jg
Itronics successfully tests manganese recovery process
Itronics - a Nevada-based emerging cleantech materials growth company that manufacturers fertilisers and produces silver - has successfully tested two proprietary processes that recover manganese, with one process recovering manganese, potassium and zinc from paste produced by processing non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. The second recovers manganese via the company’s Rock Kleen Technology.
Manganese, one of the four most important industrial metals and widely used by the steel industry, has been designated by the US Federal Government as a "critical mineral." It is a major component of non-rechargeable alkaline batteries, one of the largest battery categories sold globally.
The use of manganese in EV batteries is increasing as EV battery technology is shifting to use of more nickel and manganese in battery formulations. But according to the US Department of Interior, there is no mine production of manganese in the United States. As such, Itronics is using its Rock Kleen Technology to test metal recoverability from mine tailings obtained from a former silver mine in western Nevada that has a high manganese content.
In a statement, Itronics says that its Rock Kleen process recovers silver, manganese, zinc, copper, lead and nickel. The company says that it has calculated – based on laboratory test results – that if a Rock Kleen tailings process is put into commercial production, the former mine site would become the only primary manganese producer in the United States.
Itronics adds that it has also tested non-rechargeable alkaline battery paste recovered by a large domestic battery recycling company to determine if it could use one of its hydrometallurgical processes to solubilize the manganese, potassium, and zinc contained in the paste. This testing was successful, and Itronics was able to produce material useable in two of its fertilisers, it says.
"We believe that the chemistry of the two recovery processes would lend itself to electrochemical recovery of the manganese, zinc, and other metals. At this time electrochemical recovery has been tested for zinc and copper,” says Dr John Whitney, Itronics president.
“Itronics has been reviewing procedures for electrochemical recovery of manganese and plans to move this technology forward when it is appropriate to do so and has acquired electro-winning equipment needed to do that.
"Because of the two described proprietary technologies, Itronics is positioned to become a domestic manganese producer on a large scale to satisfy domestic demand. The actual manganese products have not yet been defined, except for use in the Company's GOLD'n GRO Multi-Nutrient Fertilisers. However, the Company believes that it will be able to produce chemical manganese products as well as electrochemical products," he adds.
Itronics’ research and development plant is located in Reno, about 40 miles west of the Tesla giga-factory. Its planned cleantech materials campus, which will be located approximately 40 miles south of the Tesla factory, would be the location where the manganese products would be produced.
Panasonic is operating one of the world's largest EV battery factories at the Tesla location. However, Tesla and other companies have announced that EV battery technology is shifting to use of nickel-manganese batteries. Itronics is positioned and located to become a Nevada-0based supplier of manganese products for battery manufacturing as its manganese recovery technologies are advanced, the company states.
A long-term objective for Itronics is to become a leading producer of high purity metals, including the U.S. critical metals manganese and tin, using the Company's breakthrough hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy, and electrochemical technologies. ‘Additionally, Itronics is strategically positioned with its portfolio of "Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies" to help solve the recently declared emergency need for domestic production of Critical Minerals from materials located at mine sites,’ the statement continues.
The Company's growth forecast centers upon its 10-year business plan designed to integrate its Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies and to grow annual sales from $2 million in 2019, to $113 million in 2025.