In a radical breakthrough, Siemens scientists have managed todevelop a device with a fervent sense of practicality imbibed in it. Itis a very small mechanical energy harvester, but in effect its impactcan be huge. When integrated with sensors, this adroitly contrivedwireless contraption can supply uninterrupted power to small gadgetssuch as low-power mobile devices, which in consequence can totallynullify the usage of batteries and their problematic recharging.
Basically this tiny device can be thought of as a ‘mini’ powerplant, which utilizes stacks of piezoelectric materials that SiemensCorporate Technology helped to design in the 1990s as high-performanceprecision drives for vehicle engine injection valves. Piezoelectricityis the charge which accumulates in certain solid materials (likeceramics) in response to an applied mechanical strain. The wordpiezoelectricity itself means electricity resulting from pressure.
In this case, the piezoelectric ceramics expand when an electricvoltage is applied to them. However, when a mechanical strain isapplied, these materials generate electricity by the above mentionedeffect and this is how the small Energy Harvester converts mechanicalmovement to electricity. The petite size of the contraption allows it to be integrated inside sensors, from which it can use its spring-masssystem that is a few centimeters long. It converts movements andvibrations with various frequencies and amplitudes into electricity with a magnitude of several milliwatts.
Though it should be noted that the Energy Harvester is not the first of its kind of device, it, however, conveniently differs from earlierdevelopments. It corresponds to a wider range of frequency andamplitude, allowing it to take advantage of more sources of energy.