A triboelectric nanogenerator (NG) as a means to harvest mechanical energy

Inventors at Georgia Tech have developed a triboelectric nanogenerator (NG) as a means to harvest mechanical energy on a large scale. This triboelectric NG has a substantially higher power output and a much simplified structure. Triggered by commonly available mechanical source such as footfalls, the NG was capable of lighting up 600 commercial LED lamps in real time. This system can be applied to potentially harvest large-scale mechanical energy such as rolling wheels, wind power, and ocean waves.

Solution Advantages
  • Increased power output — scaled up NG to power hundreds of devices, not just one
  • Improved structure — more inductive charges will be generated for this new design
Potential Commercial Applications
  • Sensors
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Medical science
  • Personal electronics
  • Defense technology
Background and More Information

We are surrounded by enormous amounts of ambient mechanical energy that often goes to waste, including rain drops, human footfalls, air flor, and ocean waves. Research on mechanical energy harvesting has been mainly focused on small-scale energy harvesting, aiming at powering micro/nano-systems. There is a need to develop this technology to be applied to large scale applications.