Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are developing a nano-generator that can harvest power from vibrations, without the use of any chords or wires. The “self-powered” charging technology, which would be most suited for use while driving your car, means that users can charge their devices on the go by their surrounding interior, like the dashboard.
“We believe this development could be a new solution for creating self-charged personal electronics,” explained Xudong Wang, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering.
Specifically, the device is a mesoporous piezoelectric nano-generator, which means it uses piezoelectric materials that can generate power from a mechanical force. The material has a soft and spongy surface, which is important as the softer the material is the more sensitive it is to vibration.
Currently, the research is still at a lab scale but the potential is what is most striking as if it is scaled up, the method could be used in industrial and manufacturing environments.