It is called piezoelectric energy, formed by the conversion of mechanical strain into electricity.
A team of European researchers have created a micro-scaled piezoelectric device that could harvest energy from machinery as well as from buildings and infrastructure. This tiny devices are perfect to power remote sensing equipment.
For example, these are ideal to monitor bridges or machines for early signs of deterioration.
The new micro-scaled piezoelectric device was developed by a partnership that included the European nanotechnology research institute IMEC and Holst Centre (an independent research institute specializing in wireless technology).
A great advantage of this device is its use of aluminum nitride, rather than the lead-based material used in conventional piezoelectric devices. Researchers claim that is short the time lead-free piezoelectric devices will become a commonplace feature in vehicles, buildings, infrastructure and factories.