The IDTechEx Show! last week in Silicon Valley revealed that energy independence for everything from electronics to aircraft is the next big thing. New energy harvesting technologies are being commercialized with remarkable speed.
Dr Peter Harrop IDTechEx comments, "If you are designing anything electronic or electric in future you must first think if you can make it generate all its own electricity, sometimes even without need for a battery. For example, Internet of Things nodes will only deploy in billions if they are fit-and-forget and very low cost, even disposable. The game is changing completely."
The Energy Harvesting Award went to Drayson Technologies of the UK for its hand-held pollution monitor entirely powered using electricity from ambient phone emissions. Triboelectricity, invented only four years ago, will be sold in Chinese electronic devices in only a few months. It has been demonstrated as electricity-generating flooring and, in a sheep, self-powered sensors: electricity -generating car tires were announced. IDTechEx, with a new report on the potential and roadmap, reported triboelectric nanogenerators (TENG) combining many other harvesting technologies in one multi-layer, low-cost plastic sheet so little or no battery is needed.
The solar vehicle Nuna 8, Dutch winner of the trans-Australia and trans-South Africa solar races from the Nuon Solar Team, was on display for the first time in North America - ultra-lightweight and drag of no more than a regular wing mirror meaning speeds over 70 kph on sunshine alone. Some team members may design a sports car version. EVX Australia revealed designs including energy harvesting shock absorbers it will license. Hanergy has prototype cars unfurling panels of 1kW/kg GaAs solar previously only affordable in aerospace. After cost reduction, launch is 2020.
The Energy Harvesting conference was the largest in the world. Masterclasses enhanced it. The Electric Vehicles conference showed how new harvesting serves land, water and air vehicles including the ultimate, energy independent vehicles in IDTechEx roadmaps. Its electric aircraft session revealed one on sale with three hours endurance, a flying school saving $100K in AVGAS needed to train a single pilot. Solar wings extend range 30%. People 500 feet below do not hear you!
Learn of more of this startling progress in the IDTechEx Show! in Berlin 10-11 May: www.IDTechEx.com/europe
Top image: Nuon Solar Team with IDTechEx staff and the champion solar powered Nuna 8