Researchers at Georgia Tech and the Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems, led by Xiaonan Wen and Zhong Lin Wang, report a triboelectric effect based wind energy harvester as a sustainable power source and a self-powered wind vector sensor system for wind speed and direction detection. The triboelectric nanogenerator plays dual roles as a sustainable power source by harvesting wind energy and as a self-powered wind vector sensor system for wind speed and direction detection.
By utilizing the wind-induced resonance vibration of a fluorinated ethylene-propylene film between two aluminum foils, the integrated TENGs with dimensions of 2.5 cm × 2.5 cm × 22 cm deliver an output voltage up to 100 V, an output current of 1.6 μA, and a corresponding output power of 0.16 mW under an external load of 100 MΩ, which can be used to directly light up tens of commercial light-emitting diodes. Furthermore, a self-powered wind vector sensor system has been developed based on the rationally designed TENGs, which is capable of detecting the wind direction and speed with a sensitivity of 0.09 μA/(m/s). This work greatly expands the applicability of TENGs as power sources for self-sustained electronics and also self-powered sensor systems for ambient wind detection.
The researchers also demonstrate an additional double-electrode-based triboelectric nanogenerator to harvest wind energy from a human blowing, and the produced electricity is enough to power an exit sign.
This invention may push forward a significant step toward the practical applications of wind energy harvesting techniques and self-powered sensor systems.
Source and top image: American Chemical Society