Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International



Home > Press > UK scientists develop optimum piezoelectric energy harvesters: Research will lead to better more efficient harvesting devices

Abstract:
Scientists working as part of the Metrology for Energy Harvesting Project have developed a new model to deliver the maximum power output for piezoelectric energy harvesters.

UK scientists develop optimum piezoelectric energy harvesters: Research will lead to better more efficient harvesting devices

UK | Posted on March 2nd, 2012

Piezoelectric materials convert electrical energy into a strain (or vice-versa). The best known use of piezoelectricity is for medical ultrasound.

Piezoelectric energy harvesters utilise energy from unwanted mechanical vibrations, such as the rattling of an air conditioning duct or the movement of a bridge with passing traffic. Power levels are small, usually a few milli-watts or less, but the scavenged energy could be used to power autonomous devices such as wireless sensors.

Piezoelectric energy harvesters are typically vibrating cantilevers, covered with a piezoelectric layer that converts mechanical strain to an electrical charge to power devices. Most developers cover the entire length of the cantilever with piezoelectric material in an attempt to maximise the conversion efficiency.

However, scientists based at the UK's at National Physical Laboratory, one of seven national measurement institutes involved in the European Metrology Research Programme funded project have discovered that this approach is counterproductive. Their research shows that due to the charge redistribution across the cantilever there is an internal loss of power of up to 25% of potential output. To counter this the team has developed a model to show that more energy can be converted if the beam is only covered with piezoelectric for two thirds of its length.

Current piezoelectric energy harvesting devices are used in applications such as wireless and battery-less light switches, and sensors. However, their potential applications range from the predictive maintenance of any moving or rotating machine parts, to electronic devices that harvest their own wasted operational energy to be more energy efficient.

Harvesting energy that would otherwise be wasted is key to meeting future energy demands while reducing carbon emissions. This energy can come from light, heat, movement or vibrations.

Markys Cain, Knowledge Leader at NPL, said:

"The energy harvesting market was worth $605 million in 2010 but is predicted to reach $4.4 billion by the end of this decade. For the market to reach its true potential we need to develop the products that can guarantee a greater energy yield and drive industrial adoption of energy harvesting products. The work undertaken by the Functional Materials Group at NPL will do exactly that, providing a model for more efficient piezoelectric energy harvesting methods."

The research was originally published in Applied Physics Letters 100, 073901 (2012).

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Joe Meaney

44-787-546-9309

Copyright © National Physical Laboratory

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Virginia Tech physicists propose path to faster, more flexible robots: Virginia Tech physicists revealed a microscopic phenomenon that could greatly improve the performance of soft devices, such as agile flexible robots or microscopic capsules for drug delivery May 17th, 2024

Gene therapy relieves back pain, repairs damaged disc in mice: Study suggests nanocarriers loaded with DNA could replace opioids May 17th, 2024

Shedding light on perovskite hydrides using a new deposition technique: Researchers develop a methodology to grow single-crystal perovskite hydrides, enabling accurate hydride conductivity measurements May 17th, 2024

Physics

Finding quantum order in chaos May 17th, 2024

International research team uses wavefunction matching to solve quantum many-body problems: New approach makes calculations with realistic interactions possible May 17th, 2024

Sensors

Innovative sensing platform unlocks ultrahigh sensitivity in conventional sensors: Lan Yang and her team have developed new plug-and-play hardware to dramatically enhance the sensitivity of optical sensors April 5th, 2024

$900,000 awarded to optimize graphene energy harvesting devices: The WoodNext Foundation's commitment to U of A physicist Paul Thibado will be used to develop sensor systems compatible with six different power sources January 12th, 2024

A color-based sensor to emulate skin's sensitivity: In a step toward more autonomous soft robots and wearable technologies, EPFL researchers have created a device that uses color to simultaneously sense multiple mechanical and temperature stimuli December 8th, 2023

New tools will help study quantum chemistry aboard the International Space Station: Rochester Professor Nicholas Bigelow helped develop experiments conducted at NASA’s Cold Atom Lab to probe the fundamental nature of the world around us November 17th, 2023

Discoveries

Virginia Tech physicists propose path to faster, more flexible robots: Virginia Tech physicists revealed a microscopic phenomenon that could greatly improve the performance of soft devices, such as agile flexible robots or microscopic capsules for drug delivery May 17th, 2024

Diamond glitter: A play of colors with artificial DNA crystals May 17th, 2024

Finding quantum order in chaos May 17th, 2024

Advances in priming B cell immunity against HIV pave the way to future HIV vaccines, shows quartet of new studies May 17th, 2024

Announcements

Virginia Tech physicists propose path to faster, more flexible robots: Virginia Tech physicists revealed a microscopic phenomenon that could greatly improve the performance of soft devices, such as agile flexible robots or microscopic capsules for drug delivery May 17th, 2024

Diamond glitter: A play of colors with artificial DNA crystals May 17th, 2024

Finding quantum order in chaos May 17th, 2024

Oscillating paramagnetic Meissner effect and Berezinskii-Kosterlitz-Thouless transition in cuprate superconductor May 17th, 2024

Battery Technology/Capacitors/Generators/Piezoelectrics/Thermoelectrics/Energy storage

What heat can tell us about battery chemistry: using the Peltier effect to study lithium-ion cells March 8th, 2024

Two-dimensional bimetallic selenium-containing metal-organic frameworks and their calcinated derivatives as electrocatalysts for overall water splitting March 8th, 2024

Discovery of new Li ion conductor unlocks new direction for sustainable batteries: University of Liverpool researchers have discovered a new solid material that rapidly conducts lithium ions February 16th, 2024

A battery’s hopping ions remember where they’ve been: Seen in atomic detail, the seemingly smooth flow of ions through a battery’s electrolyte is surprisingly complicated February 16th, 2024

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project