Experts from the University of Surrey have reported that the world is getting closer to a reality where smart devices will have the ability to use their owners as an energy resource.
In a research reported in the Advanced Energy Materials journal, researchers from Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) have described a novel solution for powering the next generation of electronic devices with the help of Triboelectric Nanogenerators (TENGs). Apart from human movements, TENGs have the ability to capture energy from common energy sources such as wave, wind, and machine vibration.
A TENG is an energy harvesting device that produces electric current by using the contact between two or more (organic, hybrid, or inorganic) materials.
Scientists from the ATI have offered a step-by-step guide on the way to develop the most efficient energy harvesters. The research introduces a “TENG power transfer equation” and “TENG impedance plots”, tools which can assist in enhancing the design for power output of TENGs.
According to Professor Ravi Silva, Director of the ATI, “A world where energy is free and renewable is a cause that we are extremely passionate about here at the ATI (and the University of Surrey)—TENGs could play a major role in making this dream a reality. TENGs are ideal for powering wearables, internet of things devices and self-powered electronic applications. This research puts the ATI in a world leading position for designing optimized energy harvesters.”
Ishara Dharmasena, PhD student and lead scientist on the project, stated, “I am extremely excited with this new study which redefines the way we understand energy harvesting. The new tools developed here will help researchers all over the world to exploit the true potential of triboelectric nanogenerators, and to design optimised energy harvesting units for custom applications.”