The Future of Piezoelectric Generators

piezoelectric generator

As we know it

Piezoelectric generators are made up of piezoelectric materials,these materials have a natural ability to create electrical potentialwhen compressed, expanded or changed in shape (mechanical change). Inother words, piezoelectric effect is nothing but the ability of certainmaterials to convert the mechanical change into electric charge. Thiseffect works the reverse way too. Putting the charge through thematerial will also result in change of shape. One of the major use ofpiezoelectric generators is for energy collection. These generators cancollect enough energy to power your personal gadgets and phones.

For example, linear motion can be converted into energy with thehelp of piezoelectric materials. It works in the same way as replacingyour shoe sole with a piezoelectric material. Every time you take astep, the linear motion will be converted into electric charge that canbe stored in a battery and then used in your gadgets. This is one of the most useful feature of the piezoelectric generators, thus giving it abright future scope.

Need for change

Although the future looks bright but the scope for research is high. The piezoelectric generator technology is in its infancy at the moment. These materials are always being blamed for their low efficiency. Theenergy produced by them is very little to use for the gadgets. But it’snot very far when people want somebody to scream loud enough so thattheir mobile battery is charged for the day long talking.

Whats Next?

1. Electricity generation from motion with nano scale piezoelectric devices

nano scale piezoelectric devices

What’s new?

The very small size piezoelectric generators are made from zinc oxide wires bundled together in flexible plastic.They produce a 45 millivolts of electricity each whenever they arepulled back and forth. Researchers who developed this at Georgia TechUniversity hope that a group of similar devices can be used to chargesensors and other low power devices.

What difference will it make?

Their small size can also bring a new era of personal gadgets thatjust have to be moved enough before they can be used. If researchers are able to figure out an eco alternative to plastic being used in thesedevices, then we are sure that this research will rewrite the future ofrenewable electricity.

2. Bright Walk illuminates your run on renewable energy

bright walk

What’s new?

Shoes with various lights are not a new thing in the market but what Alberto has designed is unique because of is power source. Alberto’snew Bright Walk shoes come with piezoelectric generators that harness the energy you generate while walking or running and converts into usable electricity.

What difference will it make?

In Bright Walk lifestyle shoes, the Piezoelectric devices are placed in the sole and generate electricity whenever they are bent or pulled.The electroluminescent polymers produce light under an electric stimulus and brighten without generating much heat. Since they are lightweight,they can be easily be integrated in shoes.

3. Israeli engineers aim to convert highways into renewable energy generators

piezoelectric road

What’s new?

The vibrations of passing vehicles can be converted into useful energy by placing piezoelectric crystals under the asphalt. Researchers at the Techion-Israel Institute ofTechnology in Haifa say that crystals can produce up to 400 kilowattsfrom one kilometer stretch of four-lane highway.

What difference will it make?

This technology will utilize unbelievable source of renewable energy as open highways and passing vehicles will create piezo-electricity.

4. Innowattech develops pads to harvest energy from passing trains

innowattech energy harvesting rail pads

What’s new?

Similar to producing renewable energy from passing cars on highways, the Israel’s Innowattech has now moved to trains with similar productto produce the piezoelectric energy.

What difference will it make?

The company states that areas of railway track that get between 10and 20 ten-car trains an hour can be used to produce up to 120KWh of renewable electricity per hour, which can be used by the railways or transferred to the grid.

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