Scientists have developed a groundbreaking tool called C-PVEH, which combines carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) and piezoelectric composites to generate electrical power from ambient vibrations. This durable and efficient device is capable of powering IoT devices, offering a significant advancement in energy-saving technologies. By harnessing vibrations, through this method and materials they have created a highly reliable solution for energy harvesting.
A team of scientists has created a groundbreaking revolutionary device that harnesses vibrational energy. This tool using a combination of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer and piezoelectric composites. It generates electrical power from the slightest ambient vibrations. C-PVEH, the newly developed device, represents a durable and reliable solution with high efficiency to power IoT devices, marking a significant leap forward in energy-saving technologies.
Both piezoelectric composites with carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP), a commonly used material, are light and strong. The new device converts vibrations from surrounding environment into electricity, making self-powered sensors more efficient and reliable, according to the research published. The process of energy harvesting is essential to achieve a sustainable future, as it allows transforming environmental energy into usable electrical energy.
Co-author of the study and professor at Tohoku University’s Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Fumio Narita says, “Everyday items, from fridges to streetlamps, are connected to the internet as part of the Internet of Things (IoT), and many of them are equipped with sensors that collect data.”
“But these IoT devices need power to function, which is challenging if they are in remote places, or if there are lots of them.” Fumio further added.
Electrical energy can be produced by the sun’s rays, heat, and vibrations. Piezoelectric materials have the remarkable capability of producing electricity in response to physical strain, which makes them ideal for harnessing vibrational energy. The durability and lightness of CFRP make it ideal for use in the aerospace, automotive, sports equipment, and medical equipment industries.
Professor Narita says, “We pondered whether a piezoelectric vibration energy harvester (PVEH), harnessing the robustness of CFRP together with a piezoelectric composite, could be a more efficient and durable means of harvesting energy.”
By mixing potassium sodium niobate (KNN) nanoparticles with epoxy resin, the group was able to fabricate the device using a combination of CFRP, enhancing its performance. The CFRP acted as both an electrode and a reinforcing substrate simultaneously.
The high performance of the device remained intact after being bent over 100,000 times as revealed by tests and simulations. It has demonstrated its ability to store the produced energy and provide power to LED lighting. Moreover, its energy output density surpasses that of other polymer composites based on KNN. The C-PVEH lived up to its expectations.
The implementation of C-PVEH, the revolutionary device that harnesses vibrational energy will drive the advancement of autonomous IoT sensors, prompting the creation of IoT devices that consume less energy.
Narita and his colleagues are excited about the technological progress they made. The team said, “As well as the societal benefits of our C-PVEH device, we are thrilled with the contributions we have made to the field of energy harvesting and sensor technology. The blend of excellent energy output density and high resilience can guide future research into other composite materials for diverse applications.”
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