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Home > Press > Harnessing solar and wind energy in one device could power the 'Internet of Things'

Hybrid solar and wind harvesting cells on the top of this model house collect enough energy to light it up inside. 
Credit: American Chemical Society
Hybrid solar and wind harvesting cells on the top of this model house collect enough energy to light it up inside.

Credit: American Chemical Society

Abstract:
The "Internet of Things" could make cities "smarter" by connecting an extensive network of tiny communications devices to make life more efficient. But all these machines will require a lot of energy. Rather than adding to the global reliance on fossil fuels to power the network, researchers say they have a new solution. Their report on a single device that harvests wind and solar energy appears in the journal ACS Nano.

Harnessing solar and wind energy in one device could power the 'Internet of Things'

Washington, DC | Posted on May 26th, 2016

Computer industry experts predict that tens of billions of gadgets will make up the Internet of Things within just five years, according to news reports. They'll be in homes, syncing coffee makers to alarm clocks. They'll be in buildings, managing lights and air temperature. But they'll also require energy to run. Sustainably generating more energy in cities close to where the devices will be used is challenging. Cities don't have much space for towering wind turbines, for example. Ya Yang, Zhong Lin Wang and colleagues wanted to find a better way to power smart cities.

For the first time, the researchers have integrated two energy harvesting technologies in one: a silicon solar cell and a nanogenerator that can convert wind energy into electrical output. The solar cell component of the system delivers 8 milliWatts of power output (1 milliWatt can light up 100 small LEDs). The wind harvesting component delivers up to 26 milliWatts. Together, under simulated sun and wind conditions, four devices on the roof of a model home could turn on the LEDs inside and power a temperature-humidity sensor. Installed in large numbers on real rooftops, the hybrid device could help enable smart cities.

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The authors acknowledge funding from the Beijing Natural Science Foundation, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, External Cooperation Program of BIC, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the 2015 Annual Beijing Talents Fund and China's Thousand Talents Program.

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About American Chemical Society
The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With nearly 157,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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Contacts:
Michael Bernstein

202-872-6042

Ya Yang, Ph.D.
Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems
Chinese Academy of Sciences
National Center for Nanoscience and Technology
Beijing, China

or
Zhong Lin Wang, Ph.D.
School of Materials Science and Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, GA 30332

Copyright © American Chemical Society

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