New resource of piezoelectric energy discovered

Interesting Engineering

The National Physical Laboratory gets highest energy from the lowest piezoelectric materials.

2007-07-24_Piezoelectric_buzzer[Image Source: Wikipedia]

Science is deliberately making progress towards energy harvesting. The process of taking energy from external resources and converting it into electrical energy is known as energy harvesting. It not only produces electrical energy, but also stored it for later use. The piezoelectric effect converts mechanical strain such as the human motions, low frequency seismic vibrations and acoustic noises into electrical current. Since the late 1990s, piezoelectric energy came to use.

However, the energy harvested by piezoelectric effects, hasn’t much power to run big electric devices. This problem is recently solved by the researchers of National Physical Laboratory. They converted the mechanical energy of the rattling sound of air condition machines and the vibrating of footbridges while pedestrians walking on it.

The piezoelectric material converts these kinds of vibrations into a charge that can stimulate any electrical device. The strength of any piezoelectric system device depends on its length or how much areas are covered by the piezoelectric materials.

This is the common story. Then what makes the new innovation of NPL scientists famous?? Surprisingly enough, they reduced the amount of piezoelectric materials of the cantilever and found that it increases the power output. That means to get the highest energy, one piezoelectric device has to cover only two thirds of its length. If an air condition device or footbridge has two thirds of piezoelectric material rather than the amount required for the whole body, it can produce electrical energy from the mechanical energy.

Being an environment friendly resource of energy, the piezoelectric energy is very important. It doesn’t produce any pollution and thus becomes popular among the environmentalists. The National Physical Laboratory has got the opportunity to work in the European Metrology Research Program with seven other measurement institutes.

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