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Team's Vibration Energy Harvester Could Charge Wearable Devices

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feet walking on pavement

Vibration energy harvesting can transform kinetic energy generated by human walking into electricity.

Credit: Getty Images

Osaka Metropolitan University scientists took a step toward self-charging wearable devices with the invention of a dynamic magnifier-enhanced piezoelectric vibration energy harvester that can amplify power generated from impulsive vibrations, such as from human walking, by about 90 times, while remaining as small as currently developed energy harvesters. They describe their work in Applied Physics Letters.

A research team led by Associate Professor Takeshi Yoshimura developed a microelectromechanical system piezoelectric vibration energy harvester that is approximately 2 cm in diameter with a U-shaped vibration amplification component under the harvester. Compared with conventional harvesters, the new harvester allows for an increase of about 90 times in the power converted from impulsive vibrations, such as walking.

The technology is expected to generate electric power from non-steady vibrations in order to power small wearable devices such as smartphones and wireless earphones. "We hope that this invention will contribute to the realization of self-charging wearable devices," Yoshimura says.

From Osaka Metropolitan University
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