Smart devices will soon be able to use their owners as power source


According to experts at the University of Surrey, the world is rapidly moving towards a reality where smart handsets will be able to use their owners as an energy source.

In a study published by the Advanced Energy Materials journal, scientists at Surrey's Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) announce an innovative solution to power the next electronic device solution using Triboelectric Nanogenerators (TENGs). In addition to the movements of the human body, TENGs can capture energy from common sources of energy such as wind, waves or machine vibrations.

A TENG is an energy collection device that utilizes the contact between two or more materials to produce electrical current, whether these hybrid materials, organic or inorganic.

The ATI researchers provided a step-by-step guide on how to build more efficient energy collectors. The study presents a "TENG energy transfer equation" and "TENG impedance plots" tools that can help improve the output power design of the TENGs.

Professor Ravi Silva, director of ATI, stated that "a world in which energy is free and renewable is a cause that we in the ATI (and the University of Surrey) are extremely committed to. The TENGs can play a major role in making this dream a reality. TENGs are ideal for feeding clothing / smart textiles, things internet devices, and self-powered electronic applications. This research puts ATI in a leading position worldwide with regard to the design of optimized energy collection devices. "

Ishara Dharmasena, a doctoral student and lead scientist for the project, says: "I am extremely enthusiastic about this new study, which redefines how we understand energy collection. The new tools that have been developed here will help researchers around the world explore the true potential of triboelectric nanogenerators as well as accions and energy harvesting units optimized for specific applications. "