Nanogenerator improves energy harvest by 90 times


Editorial of the Technological Innovation Website – 12/01/2022

Nanogenerator improves energy harvest by 90 times

The piezoelectric nanogenerator, built using MEMS technology, takes advantage of a small device that vibrates like a bell, homogenizing the vibrations.
[Imagem: Osaka Metropolitan University]


There are already numerous prototypes of nanogenerators, small devices that use piezoelectric materials to produce electricity from movement and vibrations and power portable and wearable devices – the concept known as energy harvesting.

It has worked for several applications, dispensing with batteries, including medical implants, but there is still room for improvement, especially in terms of versatility.

Now they’ve improved, and a lot: 90 times.

One of the aspects that most deserved attention was the fact that the energy generation of these harvesters drops drastically when the vibrations applied to the piezoelectric material are non-stationary and impulsive, such as those generated by human walking.

And the solution to that was simpler than anyone imagined.

dynamic vibration amplifier

Sengsavang Aphayvong and colleagues at Osaka Metropolitan University, in Japan, obtained a gigantic gain in energy production simply by attaching to their energy harvester a metallic component in the shape of a “U”, approximately 2 cm in diameter, which the team calls “dynamic amplifier”.

The apparatus works as a kind of resonator, vibrating like a spring, amplifying the movement that is passed to the piezoelectric element of the nanogenerator.

Compared to conventional nanogenerators, the new energy harvester has increased by about 90 times the power converted from impulsive vibrations, which can be generated by human walking movement. And that’s without significantly increasing the size of the generator.

“As electronic devices are expected to become more energy efficient, we hope this invention will contribute to the realization of self-charging wearable devices,” said Professor Takeshi Yoshimura, team coordinator.


Article: Enhanced Performance on Piezoelectric MEMS Vibration Energy Harvester by Dynamic Magnifier under Impulsive Force
Authors: Sengsavang Aphayvong, Shuichi Murakami, Kensuke Kanda, Norifumi Fujimura, Takeshi Yoshimura
Magazine: Applied Physics Letters
DOI: 10.1063/5.0116838

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