To sustainably power electronics by converting mechanical energy into electricity, energy storage is essential to supply a stable regulated electric output, something traditionally realized by a direct connection between the two components through a rectifier. Unfortunately, this may lead to low energy-storage efficiency. However, a new article in Nature Communications shows how to design a charging cycle to maximize energy-storage efficiency by modulating the charge flow in the system. This is demonstrated on a triboelectric nanogenerator TENG with a motion-triggered switch.
IDTechEx notes that TENG harvesting was only invented five years ago and yet first commercial products using TENGs will be sold this year. The energy storage in a TENG circuit needs to be more efficient and even physically integrated to maximise market potential.
Theoretical and experimental comparisons have now verified that the new charging cycle can enhance the charging rate, improving maximum energy-storage efficiency by up to 50% and saturation voltage by at least a factor of two.
One can now store the energy harvested by TENGs utilizing ambient mechanical energy, such as vibration, to drive portable, wearable and implantable electronics - all growing areas of activity. For more see the IDTechEx reports, Triboelectric Energy Harvesting (TENG) 2017-2027 and Wearable Technology 2016-2026 .
Learn more at the next leading event on the topic: Energy Harvesting Europe 2017 on 10 - 11 May 2017 in Berlin, Germany hosted by IDTechEx.