Flexible plastics that turn mechanical vibrations into electrical energy could spur the development of self-powered sensors and devices
The shrinking dimensions and decreased power consumption of modern electronic gadgets have created opportunities for energy harvesting processes that tap into free, green energy from the environment. Vibration harvesters, for example, produce small amounts of electricity from everyday mechanical disturbances such as wind currents, traffic noise or footsteps.
Now, Kui Yao and co-workers from the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering in Singapore have discovered a way to give lightweight polymer vibration harvesters a hundredfold boost in energy output — a finding that may help to eliminate manual battery recharging in microsensors and mobile devices1.
Many vibration harvesters contain piezoelectric substances that create an electric voltage when mechanically bent. By fabricating piezoelectric materials into cantilevers that resemble a diving board, these devices can oscillate from ambient vibrations and generate electricity. Researchers often use piezoelectric ceramics because they impart large amounts of electrical charges; however, the brittleness of ceramics makes them unsuitable for prolonged and large vibrational movements.
Yao and co-workers investigated a plastic-based piezoelectric material, polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), which is low cost and readily undergoes mechanical strain. To make efficient vibration harvesters from PVDF, researchers must stack the polymer in multiple layers, improving the output current and reducing the electrical impedance that is inherent to piezoelectric materials. But when too many thin piezoelectric layers are stacked, the cantilever can become too stiff for bending-mode vibrational harvesting.
To optimize piezoelectric harvesting with plastic films, the team deployed an analytical approach. Developing a mathematical model of a multilayered polymer cantilever coated with metal electrodes, the researchers systematically calculated how different material parameters affected the energy output.
Their simulations revealed some often-ignored factors “such as the thinness of electrode coatings and the material’s electrical parameters,” says Yao. “These can have a dramatic effect on the electricity generated by bending multilayer polymers.”
One key parameter identified was the need to match the electrical impedance with an optimum load resistance. The researchers’ analysis showed that the energy output of a 22-layered piezoelectric structure could be from 5 to 400 times higher than a single-layer piezoelectric polymer of similar dimensions.
The team then tested the feasibility of their analytical results by fabricating a PVDF-based vibrational harvester on a flexible aluminum substrate. They used scalable dip-coating procedures to build up polymer multilayers and ensured thin metal electrode coatings with physical vapor deposition techniques.
“Our experimental results are promising and show that, for many practical applications, piezoelectric polymer multilayers may enable harvested energy to replace batteries,” notes Yao.
The Latest on: Energy harvesting
via Google News
The Latest on: Energy harvesting
- Piezoelectricity can play a vital role in India’s energy transition – studyon January 20, 2021 at 11:38 pm
The cost of a single 1kW solar panel, three times more power could be generated a year using piezoelectric tiles - study.
- Energy Produced from Footsteps Could Help Address India’s Reliance on Coalon January 20, 2021 at 6:27 am
India has been dealing with energy issues in recent years. At present, the country depends heavily on coal, and it is predicted that consumer demand will double by 2040, rendering its green energy ...
- Could "Power Walking" fuel the energy revolution? India is ready to step upon January 19, 2021 at 7:36 am
India has an energy problem. It currently relies heavily on coal and consumer demand is expected to double by 2040, making its green energy targets look out of reach. Part of the solution could come ...
- Energy Harvesting Spotlight: Maxim Claims “Smallest Solar Harvesting Solution”on January 18, 2021 at 3:39 pm
IoT designers are commonly plagued with the issue of long-term deployment. Energy-harvesting paradigms, including a new solar harvesting device from Maxim, may be a promising supplement to battery ...
- Energy Harvesting System Market Is Booming Worldwide with EnOcean GmbH, Mide Technology, Lord Microstrainon January 15, 2021 at 12:42 pm
What's Ahead in the Global Energy Harvesting System Market? Benchmark yourself with strategic steps and conclusions recently published by AMA ...
- Energy Harvesting System for Wireless Sensor Network Market Top Companies, Trends, Growth Factors Details by Regions, Types and Forecast By 2025on January 15, 2021 at 7:02 am
Selbyville, Delaware Now available with Market Study Report, LLC, this report on ‘ Energy Harvesting System for Wireless Sensor Network Market’ delivers a succinct analysis on industry size, regional ...
- KAUST researchers raised bar for solar energy harvestingon January 12, 2021 at 5:14 am
To increase the performance of solar panels, an international collaboration; including researchers from King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST); and U of T Engineering, created a ...
- KAUST researchers involved in raising bar for solar energy harvestingon January 11, 2021 at 4:00 pm
To increase the performance of solar panels, an international collaboration — including researchers from King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) and U of T Engineering — has created a ...
- Sequans and e-peas Demonstrate Energy Harvesting LTE-M/NB-IoT Connectivity Solutionon January 11, 2021 at 4:00 am
PRNewswire/ -- Sequans Communications S.A. (NYSE: SQNS), a leading maker of 5G/4G chips and modules for massive, broadband and critical IoT, and ...
- Lots Of Opportunity With The Smartly-Managed WilderHill Clean Energy ETFon January 5, 2021 at 11:57 am
Renewable Energy Harvesting, Energy Conversion, Power Delivery & Conservation, and Energy Storage each comprise over 20% of the index, while Greener Utilities and Cleaner Fuels make up the remainder.
via Bing News