posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 06:25 PM
Triboelectric Generator Produces Electricity by Harnessing Friction Between Surfaces: Could Touch Screens Generating Own Electricity?
ScienceDaily (July 9, 2012) — Researchers have discovered yet another way to harvest small amounts of electricity from motion in the world around us
-- this time by capturing the electrical charge produced when two different kinds of plastic materials rub against one another. Based on flexible
polymer materials, this "triboelectric" generator could provide alternating current (AC) from activities such as walking.
Shaweet! Just imagine the applications... we're talking floors in malls, airports, touch screens, steering wheels, the bottom of shoes... and so
The triboelectric generator could supplement power produced by nanogenerators that use the piezoelectric effect to create current from the flexing of
zinc oxide nanowires. And because these triboelectric generators can be made nearly transparent, they could offer a new way to produce active sensors
that might replace technology now used for touch-sensitive device displays.
"The fact that an electric charge can be produced through this principle is well known," said Zhong Lin Wang, a Regents professor in the School of
Materials Science & Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. "What we have introduced is a gap separation technique that produces a
voltage drop, which leads to a current flow, allowing the charge to be used. This generator can convert random mechanical energy from our environment
into electric energy."
I'm actually a bit surprised that it has taken this long for this technology to be developed, but it's here, and I would suggest... here to stay.
"Honey, the power is out!"... "Well get off your *** and go rub the lamp!" lol, that might be a stretch... but just maybe.
Because the devices can be made approximately 75 percent transparent, they could potentially be used in touch screens to replace existing sensors.
"Transparent generators can be fabricated on virtually any surface," said Wang. "This technique could be used to create very sensitive transparent
sensors that would not require power from a device's battery."
While smooth surfaces rubbing together do generate charge, Wang and his research team have increased the current production by using micro-patterned
surfaces. They studied three different types of surface patterning -- lines, cubes and pyramids -- and found that placing pyramid shapes on one of the
rubbing surfaces generated the most electrical current: as much as 18 volts at about 0.13 microamps per square centimeter.
Pyramid shapes huh... someone must have been watching "Revelations of the Pyramids", joking of course. Although, I'd suggest that there is
probably some interesting correlation between the principals of the design.
Anyways... just thought I'd post this, because people always love to hear about up and coming energy technologies. I'm not seeing some government
cover-up, what's up with that? Although, this won't produce anywhere near the energy required to replace oil, coal, and natural gas I suppose...