From the University of Wisconsin-Madison (U-W Madison) in the US, Scientists have cultivated an innovative energy-harvesting technology. They have developed a Power Generating Shoes that will catch the power of human movements to charge mobile devices or laptops. This technology could decrease our trust on mobile batteries by ensuring that, we have the power to charge our devices, no matter where we are.
Tom Krupenkin, a Mechanical engineering professor and J Ashley Taylor, the senior scientist explained that “This could allow footwear-enclosed energy harvesters that catch energy composed by humans during walking and saves it for later use.”
Tom pronounced, “Human walking bears lot of energy, i.e., it can produce up to 10 watts per shoe and that energy is just wasted in the form of heat. A total of 20 watts from walking is not a small thing, especially as per power requirement of modern mobile devices.”
Researchers truly believe that this technology could be a game-changer in the energy field that could charge varieties of devices like your mobile, tablets, laptops or anything that need batteries for performance. A normal smartphone needs less than 2 watts of energy.
“We are developing new methods of directly transforming mechanical motion into electrical energy that will be suitable for this type of application”, said Krupenkin.
By taking advantage of ‘reverse electrowetting’ (the alteration property of a hydrophobic surface with an applied electric field), a conductive fluid collaborates with a Nano film-coated surface, means mechanical energy is directly transformed into electrical energy.
This method requires a source of energy with high frequency like the mechanical source. The mechanical source can be vibrating or rotating quickly could produce usable power. For this, scientists have made a ‘bubbler method’ which integrates reverse electrowetting with bubble growth and breakdowns.
The bubbler device consists of two flat plates detached by a tiny gap. This gap is filled up by conductive liquid. The lowest plate is bounded with tiny holes through which pressurised gas makes bubbles. The bubbles become larger until they are large enough to touch the highest plate, which causes the bubble to breakdown.
The fast, constant growth and breakdown of bubbles pushes the conductive fluid backward and forward, generates an electrical charge to power up.
- As soldiers bear heavy battery loads to power up their radios, GPS (Global Positioning System) and night vision goggles, this power- preceding could be very useful in military sectors.
- Power generating shoes also can bring a power source to people in remote areas and to the various developing country, where is a lack of sufficient electric power supply.