Powering Small Smart Devices with Light and Motion


Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

University of Bolton scientists create smart material to generate energy from the elements (ASM International, Nov. 3, 2010)

Also discussed here: Scientists Create Photovoltaic-Piezoelectric Fiber To Power Gadgets With Light & Motion (The Green Optimistic, Nov. 2, 2010)

And here: Photovoltaic-Piezoelectric Fiber Could Power Your Laptop (Solar Novus, Nov. 1, 2010)

And here: University of Bolton researchers create hybrid solar energy-generating fiber (Solar Server, Oct. 28, 2010)

The explosion taking place in the number of low-powered smart appliances and their need to be recharged has resulted in an overall increase in demand for electrical power. When this demand is multiplied across a city or country, it translates into the need for more power generation from polluting sources, such as coal and natural gas. The invention by researchers in the UK and China gathers energy from the sun and motion in a fibre which could be applied easily in many if not most small smart devices.

Key Quotes:

“scientists developed a flexible piezoelectric fiber that can harness motion, but now they’ve upgraded the fiber, making it capable to transform the material into a solar energy source.”

“the fiber can be woven into energy-harvesting fabrics, and has the potential to produce electricity from sunlight as well as motion, including wind and wave action”

“The most immediate applications will be in the area of low-power microelectronic-driven devices like mobiles, laptops, MP3s, Ipads – anything that requires re-chargeable batteries or small batteries to run”

“can currently produce one watt from a 20cm by 20cm square of the material…When you consider a low-energy light bulb uses nine watts you can see that now, even in its early development stages, the material is producing credible power.”

“The advantage of a hybrid photovoltaic and piezoelectric cell is that it can generate energy when there is no sunlight on a rainy or windy day, by using wind and rain energy”

“At home, a tree with needle like-fibers, could be converting sun, wind, and rain into electrical energy, which is stored ready for charging,”

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