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
- Energy Harvesting Equipment Market outlook, Future Scope, Demands and Projected Industry Growths to 2026on November 25, 2020 at 11:44 pm
A Research study on Energy Harvesting Equipment Market analyzes and offers ideas of exhaustive research on ancient and recent Energy Harvesting Equipment market size. Along with the estimated future ...
- Energy Harvesting System Market Research Report by Application, by End User – Global Forecast to 2025 – Cumulative Impact of COVID-19on November 25, 2020 at 5:19 am
Most basic foundation parts are absolutely subject to the energy source or energy producing systems to play out ...
- Neural stimulator device combines two “effects” for implantable energy transferon November 24, 2020 at 9:28 pm
By imposing a varying magnetic field on a magnetostrictive material, which is bonded to a piezoelectric one, researchers have developed a unique technique to transfer power to a medically implanted ...
- Researchers overcome barriers for bio-inspired solar energy harvesting materialson November 23, 2020 at 10:58 am
Inspired by nature, researchers can demonstrate a synthetic strategy to stabilize bio-inspired solar energy harvesting materials. Their findings could be a significant breakthrough in functionalizing ...
- CCNY researchers overcome barriers for bio-inspired solar energy harvesting materialson November 23, 2020 at 8:00 am
Inspired by nature, researchers at The City College of New York (CCNY) can demonstrate a synthetic strategy to stabilize bio-inspired solar energy harvesting materials. Their findings, published in ...
- Researchers overcome barriers to functionalization of bio-inspired solar energy harvesting materialson November 22, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Inspired by nature, researchers at the City College of New York (CCNY) can demonstrate a synthetic strategy to stabilize bio-inspired solar energy harvesting materials. Their findings, published in ...
- Home cancer-screen kit and UV-harvesting windows win James Dyson Awardson November 19, 2020 at 6:49 pm
A simple home test for breast cancer and a solar energy-harvesting window made of recycled materials are the big winners of this year’s James Dyson Awards. The annual competition encourages university ...
- How Energy Harvesting is Enabling New Possibilities for Medical Wearable Deviceson November 19, 2020 at 2:24 pm
Healthcare facilities and hospitals use connected IoT devices for a wide range of use cases, including giving wearable medical devices to patients as an easy way to monitor their from anywhere.
- Inertial Kinetic Energy Harvesters for Wearables: The Benefits of Energy Harvesting at the Footon November 18, 2020 at 9:47 pm
Energy harvesting can reduce the reliance on batteries, but the harvesting potential varies substantially depending on where the harvester is placed. Few previous studies investigating placement have ...
- Energy Harvesting Systems Marketon November 13, 2020 at 8:50 am
The Energy Harvesting Systems market report gives an in-depth analysis of the global market where it includes drivers, restraints, and trends, and opportunities contributing in the growth of the ...
via Bing News