The increase in energy needs is a very real problem worldwide: the need to meet the increasingly energy demand is forcing several nations, especially the developing countries, using fossil fuels for electricity production. The massive use of this type of sources implies an increase in CO2 emissions, which are the cause of the ozone layer, greenhouse effect and global warming.
A breath of fresh air, in this regard, comes directly from Veranu (which in Sardinian means 'spring'), an Italian startup founded in 2016 that operates in the renewables sector and aims to make a contribution to the energy problem through an innovative tile that converts the kinetic energy of the steps into clean electricity. A tile that, through the use of piezoelectric material, allows the realization of an intelligent floor capable of generating electricity by simply walking over it.
The project started in 2012 from the graduation thesis in electrical engineering by Alessio Calcagni who, along with two other Sardinian engineers, Simone Mastrogiacomo and Giorgio Leoni, has developed the new technology. At first there was great skepticism. Few people believed that a device capable of generating energy step by step, accumulating it in batteries and powering light bulbs could works but in January 2015 engineers have turned 10 led demonstrating that their creation works.
Veranu is the 'environmentally friendly' tile because it is made of recycled plastics that will not only cut down the CO2 emissions but also reduces the production costs. It is easy to install and it fits in perfectly within each type of traditional floor, becoming an invisible technology that not disfigures historical and artistic interest place. The Veranu potential is high: with a single step it can provide up to 2 W of power, 20 steps are enough to turn on a streetlight LED lights in a public square and 10.000 steps are used to recharge entirely the battery of a smartphone. The smart floor, which is expected to go on the market in 2018, can be installed in public or private places where there are many people such as squares, railway stations, shopping centers, airports, subways and nightclubs and the mission of the new startup is to develop environmentally sustainable lifestyles with a different perspective, starting from ourselves and from our actions.