background preloader


Facebook Twitter

Piezoelectric harvesting batteries

Self-charging battery both generates and stores energy. ( -- Renewable energy technologies generally consist of two distinct processes: energy generation (using sources such as coal, solar, wind, etc.) and energy storage (such as batteries). These two processes are always accomplished through two separate units, with the first process converting the original form of energy to electricity, and the second process converting electricity to chemical energy. Now for the first time, engineers have demonstrated that energy can be generated and stored in a single device that converts mechanical energy directly to chemical energy, bypassing the intermediate step of electricity generation.

The device basically acts as a hybrid generator-battery unit, or in other words, a self-charging power cell. “This is a project that introduces a new approach in battery technology that is fundamentally new in science,” Zhong Lin Wang told Once the new equilibrium between electrodes is reached, the self-charging process ceases. Shell buys Sonnen, Tesla’s competitor in the home battery business. On Friday, oil major Royal Dutch Shell and German energy storage company Sonnen announced that Shell would acquire Sonnen for an undisclosed amount. Sonnen has been one of the top competitors with Tesla's Powerwall in the US home battery market.

The company built its base in Germany, attaching batteries for self-consumption to homes with solar panels. Sonnen now claims 40,000 batteries installed in households in Germany, the US, and Australia. The company's assets include proprietary software that optimizes a home's battery use in combination with solar power. In May of last year, Sonnen deployed a "virtual battery" system in Germany, aggregating residential batteries into one-megawatt blocks.

Shell is best known as a retailer of the kinds of CO2-intensive fuel that Sonnen aimed to eliminate with its virtual battery, but Shell has been investing in low-carbon technology in recent years in an aim to diversify ahead of a carbon-regulated future. Mercedes-Benz brings its home battery to the US - The Verge. A 2,000 YEAR OLD ELECTRIC BATTERY. Piezoelectric energy can potentially replace batteries in future. Piezoelectric energy can potentially replace batteries in future Alternative energy industry, as we all know, is growing exponentially. Till now we have successfully produced energy from fossil fuels, petroleum, coal, etc. And, when we realized that these sources are finite, we started exploring renewable sources like wind, solar power, tidal and geothermal power. Another potential source of energy could be piezoelectric energy. When mechanical stress is applied to certain materials, charge is produced that can be converted into energy, called piezoelectric energy. Piezoelectric materials have the capability to harness energy from vibrations.

Although we all are aware that the power levels would be low, researchers claim that the environmentally friendly technology will be replace batteries without any added costs. The power demands of the future world are expected to exceed manifold and to cater to needs we need to develop as many sources as possible. Via: Npl Enjoyed this post? Vibration harvesters designed to replace AA, AAA batteries. To illustrate the application of vibration-powered electricity generators the example is given of installing them in a remote control for a television or set-top box, where it is possible to use the remote after shaking it to generate power. In such applications the use of energy harvesters in AA and AAA formats can eliminate the need to replace batteries and reduces waste. Inside the battery-shaped case is an electromagnetic induction generator and a 500-mF capacitor for storage.

The output of the AA-size generator is 10 to 180-mW, the report said and versions have been produced that provide power at 1.6- and 3.2-V, while a AAA unit that generates 2.7-V has also been produced. The units are only suitable for equipment with low duty cycles, such as remote controls and provide about 100-mW of power, while remote controls typically consume between 40-mW and 100-mW when in use, the report said. Tesla Plans Model S Battery Swap as Fast Refueling Option. Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA), already adding a network of fast-charging stations for its luxury electric cars, is readying a service to rapidly swap a car’s battery with a charged pack for added convenience. The company, based in Palo Alto, California, announced last week plans for a June 20 press conference at its design studio in Hawthorne, California, to show “a way for the Tesla Model S to be recharged faster than you could fill a gas tank.”

Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, in a Twitter post today, said the event would feature a “live pack swap” demonstration at 8 p.m. California time on June 20. The carmaker, which has more than tripled in market value this year, is creating exclusive infrastructure for customers of its all-electric sedan priced from $69,900. “One of the problems with the Better Place model for battery swapping was that it wasn’t cheap,” said Alan Baum, an automotive analyst at Baum & Associates in West Bloomfield, Michigan.

Energy-Generating Knee Strap Could Spell the End of Batteries. Photo by Shutterstock Time for the energy industry to pull itself up by the knee straps: A group of scientists in the United Kingdom have developed a novel energy-harvesting device that attaches to the joint between the thigh and shin. Composed of piezoelectric materials , which generate power when they’re subjected to mechanical strain, the technology could spell self-powered heart monitors for athletes, lighter loads for soldiers, and gadgets that won’t run out of juice before you do.

The research, published in this month’s issue of , combines the expertise of scientists from Cranfield University , the University of Liverpool , and the University of Salford . The device itself is circular, with an outer ring and a central hub. When the knee joint goes through a walking movement, the outer ring rotates, causing the 72 plectra on its surface to “pluck” four energy-generating arms on the inner hub. The best part? Brother’s Vibration Energy Cell batteries to shake up power generation for low power devices. Brother's AA-size Vibration Energy Cell battery prototype whose generator and rechargeable battery are installed in two different cases (Image: Tech-On) A number of kinetic energy chargers have been hitting the market in recent years including the nPower PEG. Researchers have also been working to improve the technology, developing such devices as the Kinetic Energy Cell and a tiny generator that derives electrical energy from the vibrations and movements that occur within its environment.

Now Brother Industries Ltd., a company better known for its printers, has put the technology into a form factor that should prove much more versatile – a battery. Its Vibration Energy Cell batteries are deigned to replace AA or AAA batteries in some low power devices that can then be powered with a shake. Like most kinetic energy chargers, the Vibration Energy Cell batteries rely on Faraday’s Principle of Electromagnetic Induction to generate electricity. Sources: BBC News and Tech-On About the Author. NEC goes ultra-thin with 0.3mm-thick batteries.

( -- NEC, which has been working on what is called "organic radical battery" (ORB) technology for some years, has announced its latest ORB breakthrough, the 0.3mm thick ORB. According to, the output rated as 5kW/L with a capacity of 3mAh. On full charge, the new battery prototype can refresh a screen 2,000 times. A recharge takes under a minute, about 30 seconds. The new batteries maintain 75 percent of their charge-discharge after 500 charges. NEC has been exploring these polymer-based batteries since 2001, but the battery thickness was limited to 0.7mm. The new battery was made using printing technologies to integrate circuit boards with batteries, whereby negative electrodes were embedded directly on to the circuit boards. This presents important possibilities in applications, especially for use in what is being called "enhanced" credit and debit cards. Explore further: Energy Department seeks methane hydrate proposals. This Paintable Battery Can Be Used Virtually Anywhere.

Researchers at Rice University in Texas have created a paintable battery that can be used anywhere. Also impressive — the battery is rechargeable and can hold a 2.4 volt charge for six hours. To create this sprayable battery, the team disassembled the chemicals of a lithium-ion battery and converted them into five paints. These paints were then sprayed in a particular order, like a conventional battery cell, onto ceramic tiles. Then the nine tiles were lined up parallel and placed with one tile topped with a solar cell that converted power from a white laboratory light. This produced a steady 2.4 volts for six hours.

The battery was sprayed onto a variety of surfaces, including ceramic bathroom tiles, flexible polymers, glass, stainless steel and a beer stein to see how well they would function on each material. In testing, the batteries were reliable and consistent — within 10 minutes of their target energy output. What do you think this sprayable battery could be used for? Dual-charged Approach to Battery Testing. Researchers produce power from engineered virus. Thursday, 17 May 2012 08:09 News & Events - Engineering News May 17, 2012 It's not all that uncommon to hear energetic people described as dynamos, and any given person consumes and uses plenty of energy throughout the day. But a new development from research at the University of California at Berkeley could make a living organism into an actual battery of sorts.

Led by associate professor of bioengineering Seung-Wuk Lee, a scientist at the school's Berkeley Lab Physical Biosciences Division, this group of researchers has found a way to use thin layers of viruses to generate an electrical charge. Power from pressure The basic idea that powers these organic batteries is known as piezoelectricity, the process by which mechanical energy is converted into an electrical charge.

However, because these materials are both toxic and difficult to work with, as well as the small amounts of energy they produce, the effect has largely remained more of a curiosity than a legitimate energy solution. Fail: Green car battery maker goes bankrupt. Piezoelectric materials : Sun Solar Electric. In the last few years, there has been considerable effort by various companies to make “perpetually powered” and battery-free systems which operate from ambient energy. the key integrated circuits (ICs) needed to develop such a system are ultra-low-power microprocessors, radios, and power-management ICs (PMICs).

While considerable progress has been made in the field of low-power microprocessors and radios, only recently have PMICs suited for energy harvesting applications started appearing in the market. This article provides a quick introduction to some of the ambient energy sources available followed by a detailed discussion of factors to be considered when choosing a PMIC for these energy sources. Ambient energy sources can be broadly divided into direct current (DC) sources and alternating current (AC) sources. In this article, only DC energy harvesters are considered as energy harvesters using these sources are easier to obtain in high volume quantities as opposed to AC harvesters. California Energy Commission Adopts New Battery Charger Standards. SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Battery chargers aren’t the most energy efficient devices and their growing presence in homes has a state energy commission concerned.

New rules are being adopted to save consumers on money and electricity. “There are 170 million chargers out in California. Each home has an average of 11,” said Adam Gottlieb with the California Energy Commission. The agency just approved a first of its kind in energy efficient standards for all those cell phone and digital camera battery chargers that keep adding up. KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports: CA Energy Commission Adopts Battery Charger Standards Gottlieb said nearly two-thirds of the electricity used to power electronic devices is wasted. New energy efficient rules require that any consumer products built after February 2013 will have to meet the new standards. “We’re looking at saving enough energy to power nearly 350,000 homes. He added that historically, California has been a leader on energy-efficiency standards. New Effort to Keep Battery Chargers From Wasting Your Power. It's been dubbed "vampire power"--the electricity that is sucked out of your home by inefficiencies and devices that draw electricity whenever they're plugged in, even when they're not turned on.

For nearly four decades, California's Energy Commission has led a crusade to drive a stake into vampire power by setting efficiency standards for a wide range of appliances, from refrigerators to flatscreen televisions. California even beat the federal government to the punch by a year by moving to phase out the classic 100 watt lightbulb with the improvements in lighting efficiency that have occurred since Thomas Edison's day.

Now the Commission is going after the devices that recharge the batteries for your ever growing collection of portable electronics, from cellphones to music players, laptops to power tools. The average home now has 11 battery chargers, according to Commission spokesman Adam Gottlieb. Consumers will not be required to stop using their old chargers. How to Conserve Battery Life on Your iPhone. It’s well-known that, with the release of iOS 5, battery life has been less than exemplary. I’ve been slammed with it, too, and am feeling the repercussions when I’m only halfway through the day and I get that dreaded low battery warning on my iPhone — not only my iPhone, but any iDevice has been struck hard for those of us who have updated. Apple has been actively pursuing a solution to the problem and even called complaining owners personally to have them install diagnostic tools for troubleshooting.

Since then, iOS 5.0.1 has been released to combat the problem a little bit, with a full solution promised in an iOS 5.0.2 release soon. While we wait for a solution to come from Apple on the dire battery issue that has left many of us buying external battery packs or even carrying around our chargers with us everywhere we go. Some solutions have been found by tweaking location settings and app preferences. What You Can Do on the Phone Disable location services. Disable push emails. Ahlstrom acquires 49% stake in US Li-ion battery separator company Porous Power Technologies. Ahlstrom acquires 49% stake in US Li-ion battery separator company Porous Power Technologies Finland-based Ahlstrom, a global high-performance materials company, has signed an agreement to invest in Porous Power Technologies, LLC, a US-based developer of highly porous, laminable separator membranes for Li-ion batteries.

(Earlier post.) Under the agreement, Ahlstrom will subscribe for approximately 49% of the shares in Porous Power while the remaining 51% of the shares will be held by the current owners of Porous Power. Ahlstrom has an option to acquire the remaining shares at a later stage. Battery separators, which keep the anode and cathode from touching each other and short-circuiting, are vitally important in the performance and safety of electric vehicles. Ahlstrom has been developing lightweight non-woven materials for lithium-ion membrane separators since 2008 and has worked closely with Porous Power for several years. The Perfect Power Tool for the iPad-Packing World Traveler - Alexis Madrigal - Technology. Suzuki to Launch E-Scooter with Detachable Battery: #evworld. American Vanadium Seeks Partners to Build Battery Technology.