Slip-and-slide power generators

Researchers from Vestfold University College in Norway have created a simple, efficient energy harvesting device that uses the motion of a single droplet to generate electrical power.

The new technology could be used as a power source for low-power portable devices, and would be especially suitable for harvesting energy from sources such as human body motion, write the authors in a paper accepted to the American Institute of Physics' (AIP) journal .

The harvester produces power when an electrically conductive droplet (mercury or an ionic liquid) slides along a thin microfabricated material called an electret film, which has a permanent electric charge built into it during deposition.

Cyclic tilting of the device causes the droplet to accelerate across the film's surface; the maximum output voltage (and power) occurs when the sliding droplet reaches its maximum velocity at one end of the film.

A prototype of the fluidic energy harvester demonstrated a peak output at 0.18 microwatts, using a single droplet 1.2 millimeters in diameter sliding along a 2-micrometer-thick electret film.


Explore further

Droplets that Roll Uphill

More information: Power Generation from Conductive Droplet Sliding on Electret Film, Zhaochu Yang et al., Applied Physics Letters (2012).
Journal information: Applied Physics Letters

Citation: Slip-and-slide power generators (2012, May 24) retrieved 1 April 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2012-05-slip-and-slide-power.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments