Most of us are still trying to find out the easiest way to charge our smartphones. Even if some of us have the comfort of wireless chargers, it could be still a big issue if you find it annoying to plug in the device.
Researchers at Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) want to permanently remove chargers from your life. They are working on a technology that requires the transformation of the mechanical energy produced due to everyday movements of the human body, directly into electricity. They used a type of tiny device called Triboelectric Nanogenerator (TENG) to achieve this.
A research team at the Georgia Institute of Technology, led by Prof. Zhong Lin Wang first demonstrated TENG in 2012. It’s also known that last year, Wang’s team was purchasing TENG devices to produce an energy-harvesting cloth, which could store energy collected from sunlight, as well as human motion and reserve it in embedded fibers.
This technology can let you charge your portable devices such as smartphone, smartwatch, fitness band without any external power source; all you have to do is just wave your hand or type.
“We confirmed that if the mechanical energy is entirely converted into electrical energy, the energy generated by the daily motion of an arm can sufficiently cover the energy consumption of a smart watch and even the stand-by energy consumption of a smartphone,” Shin said.
Comparison tests for the energy produced by the TENG, minute after their typical activity against the energy consumed by various devices and wearables like smartwatches and fitness trackers at the same time.
Not for your iPAD though
It’s highly absurd that in any case, you could use TENG to charge your iPad. The most likely this technology would be able to charge is smartwatches or any low-power phone. As Shin says, the maximum possible energy of TENG could be improved by “understanding the factors related to the motion in an aspect of the velocity (kinetic energy) and elasticity (impulse).”
The tech is still under development. For optimizing the output of energy of TENG, different real-world obstacles including frequency control, impedance matching, and stability of the structure would have to be considered.