FUTUREWATCH: Will Piezoelectric Energy Replace Batteries?

The Alternative energy industry, as we all know, is growing exponentially. Till now we have successfully produced energy from fossil fuels, petroleum, coal, etc. And, when we realized that these sources are finite, we started exploring renewable sources like wind, solar power, tidal and geothermal power. Another potential source of energy could be piezoelectric energy. When mechanical stress is applied to certain materials, charge is produced that can be converted into energy, called piezoelectric energy.

Piezoelectric materials have the capability to harness energy from vibrations. Therefore, researchers plan on harvesting such energy, which can be sourced from abstract sources like footbridge vibrations, rattling of conditioning units, etc.

Although we all are aware that the power levels would be low, researchers claim that the environmentally friendly technology will be replace batteries without any added costs. For harnessing the energy, they will make use of vibrating cantilevers and cover them with piezoelectric material. These materials will convert the mechanical stress into a charge that will be used for powering devices.

A few believe that covering the entire length of the cantilever with piezoelectric material for harvesting maximum energy, but latest research by the National Measurement Institute (NPL), UK claims that covering just two third of the length would give you maximum output.

The power demands of the future world are expected to exceed manifold and to cater to needs we need to develop as many sources as possible. The discovery of materials like piezoelectric materials is rather interesting and scientists themselves might not have knowledge about its full potential.

Via: Npl

Original Article on EcoFriend


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