We’re Pickin’ up Good Vibrations

No, I’m not talking about the Beach Boys (yes, I’m an old); I’m talking about harvesting energy from vibrations in our surroundings.

Researchers have developed an energy-generating device of piezoelectric composites and carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) that transforms vibrations into electricity for self-powered sensors. They published their research in Nano Energy on June 13, 2023.

Such devices are crucial for a sustainable energy future, particularly as our energy use continues to increase.

The device can use vibrational energy due to piezoelectric materials’ ability to generate electricity when physically stressed, and the CFRP lends itself to aerospace, automotive, sports, and medical applications because of its durability and lightness.

The group fabricated the device using a combination of CFRP and potassium sodium niobate (KNN) nanoparticles mixed with epoxy resin. The CFRP served as both an electrode and a reinforcement substrate.

Tests and simulations revealed that it could maintain high performance even after being bent more than 100,000 times. It proved capable of storing the generated electricity and powering LED lights. Additionally, it outperformed other KNN-based polymer composites in terms of energy output density.

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