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    Making sports half-time blackouts a thing of the past


    Remember when the Super Bowl half-time show was delayed for ages by a power cut? Remember how that’s all anybody talked about afterwards? Well, in Brazil they’ve come up with an idea that might just put an end to that.

    We’ve written before about some of the lighting innovations that have been combined with football in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas. The favelas, due to their nature, can often only obtain electricity by running illegal cables – meaning it is, at best, an unreliable light source. Not exactly a suitable place for night-time games, given how much energy floodlights can consume.


    So when one football pitch was rebuilt in the Morro da Mineira community, the designers got their thinking caps on. The result is a self-powering football pitch.


    It’s very simple really. The pitch is underlaid with kinetic tiles, allowing the energy of the players’ footsteps to be gathered and converted into electricity. This electricity then powers the floodlights.


    It doesn’t take much imagination to see how this could extend into the wider community. Although the energy needed for floodlights might not be quite the same as that needed to light up a whole neighborhood, the fact that it’s already possible makes it easy to imagine that, in future, improvements in kinetic energy conversion could indeed result in greener – and, crucially, cheaper – energy.


    This could be just the first step on a road to making sports locations, such as football pitches, truly self-sustaining. Imagine a whole stadium being illuminated with only the energy of those moving around within it? Or being able to light a whole community just by playing some kickabout with your friends?


    Now you know it’s possible to use athletic energy to power lights, how would you use it? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below.


    Disclaimer: Philips is not an official sponsor or officially affiliated in any way with the Super Bowl or the National Football League (NFL).


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