New energy tech could transform the Internet of Things.


An international research team led by Tohoku University has developed a new energy-generating device by combining piezoelectric composites with carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP). The new device converts vibrations from the surrounding environment into electricity, providing an efficient and reliable way for autonomous sensors.

Details of the team’s research have been published free of charge in the journal Nano Energy.

Energy harvesting involves the conversion of energy from the environment Piezoelectric It is important to ensure a sustainable future in the use of electricity.

Researchers develop energy harvesting through vibration that is more durable and efficient. Image credit: Tohoku University. Click the press release link for more images and information.

“Everyday objects, from refrigerators to street lights, are connected to the Internet as part of the Internet of Things (IoT) and are equipped with sensors that collect a lot of data,” said Fumio Narita, co-author of the study and professor at Tohoku University’s Graduate School of Environmental Studies. But these IoT devices require power to operate, which is a challenge if they are in remote locations or if there are many.

Solar radiation, heat, and vibration can all generate electricity. Vibrational energy can be harnessed as it has the ability to generate electricity when physically stressed. Meanwhile, CFRP lends itself to applications in the aerospace and automotive industries, sports equipment, and medical devices due to its strength and simplicity.

“Piezoelectric Vibration Energy Harvester (PVEH), we thought that using the strength of CFRP with a piezoelectric composite could be a more efficient and sustainable energy harvesting method,” Narita said.

The team created the device by combining CFRP and potassium sodium niobate (KN) nanoparticles with epoxy resin. CFRP was used as electrode and reinforcement substrate.

The device, called C-PVEH, lived up to expectations. Tests and simulations have shown that it can maintain high performance even after being folded over 100,000 times. It has been proven that it has the ability to store the generated electricity and generate LED lights. Additionally, it outperforms other KNN-based polymer composites in terms of energy output density.

C-PVEH will help promote autonomous IoT sensors, leading to more energy-efficient IoT devices.

Narita and his colleagues are also excited about the technological advancements of their discovery. “As well as the benefits of our C-PVEH device community, we are very pleased with our contribution to the field of energy harvesting and sensor technology. The combination of excellent power output density and high resistance may lead to future research into other composite materials for various applications,” he added. .


Piezoelectricity is a fascinating field. Similar to microphones that generate electrical data – piezoelectrics simply produce watts. Surprisingly, high-performance microphones are more developed than piezoelectric devices.

Making a piezoelectric device move enough to bend it is a starting point that makes a big difference. A heavy duty diesel engine rocking is a very different proposition than a structure that bends in the wind.

This technology is approaching small high frequency power sources.

To date, there are no cost-effective piezoelectric devices available for mass market sale. But the gap is closing into marketability.

By Brian Westenhouse via New Energy and Fuels

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