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Saudi Arabia: the Great Mosque of Mecca could soon be powered by the footsteps of its visitors !

Two Saudi researchers have just patented a technology that allows the use of pistons to transform the movements of the faithful within the mosque into energy that would be used to power the mosque.

Who has never been impressed by the number of worshippers who regularly swarm the Great Mosque of Mecca, religiously carrying out their revolution around the Kaaba? Apart from the periods of restriction due to coronavirus, the two annual Muslim pilgrimages to Makkah are the best examples of these spectacular images.

Perhaps it was while attending this spectacle that Dr. Abdul Hamid Al Khatib, Assistant Professor of Medical Engineering at King Abdulaziz University, and his associate, wondered how best to convert all this excitement into energy. And after “several years of work”, eureka, they have finally filed their invention with the U.S. Patent Office.

An invention well-adapted to its environment

The doctor explains that this technology works by “pressing small pistons that are placed underneath floors, and the energy generated is collected in batteries before being stored”. A perfect system for the configuration of the Great Mosque since the number of pedestrians is important over long distances and long periods of time.

Simple and efficient

Moreover, in a context where the implementation of renewable energy systems often raises questions of costly infrastructure and scarce materials, Al Khatib added that they were not necessary to make this invention work: “Indeed, we can use ordinary slabs with pistons underneath, and we use a liquid that can be water, oil or inert gases. When the pistons are pressed, turbines similar to those that generate energy from air or water start to move,” he said.

A particularly promising technology that could be applied in many places, in Saudi Arabia or elsewhere, such as tourist locations, those hosting major cultural or sporting events, or shopping malls!