18 Janvier 2017

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Physics Engineering


Energy & Electricals

Our device converts mechanical energy into electricity, when repeatedly pressed and released by an external mechanical action. The device has a sandwich structure, with flexible or solid electrodes on the surface and with an organic electret material core (see picture). It can be embedded into an object, a cloth or be used as a “second skin”. Electric charges trapped within the device induce an electric current through a charge when a mechanical deformation is applied. The device has no resonance frequency and thus works at any mechanical frequency. Besides, the organic material is designed in such a way so that electric charges remain stable over time, leading to long standing performances. With a finger tapping activation, the first 3cmx3cm prototype reaches a peak voltage of 27 V and a power of 45.6 μW. Performances can be further largely enhanced by optimizing triboelectric effect, increasing the size of the device and/or by using it under different conditions (higher mechanical frequencies, more pressure).

Competitive advantages :

  • Flexible or solid surface
  • Works at any mechanical frequency
  • Long standing electric charge storage


Powering/improving battery lifetime for :

  • Embedded chips in smart clothes and shoes
  • “Second skin” biomedical sensors
  • Smart cards, semi-active RFID systems,
  • Strain or pressure sensors (for car wheels for example)

Keywords : Mechanical (kinetic) energy harvester, (Tribo)electret material, Triboelectricity, Electrostatic transducer

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