New Aluminum Nitrate-Based Device Converts Low-Frequency Vibrations to Electricity


memsenergyA team of scientists from the Institute of Microelectronics at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) claim to have found the source of infinite power for all small electronic devices. The guys figured that harnessing the energy from low frequency vibrations can completely eliminate the need of manual re-charging of future electronics in a very green and extremely economical way. They only had to design a special energy harvester.

Low frequency vibrations are known to be the most abundant energy source around, but surprisingly technologies that can capture this energy have not been very successful to date. Various research groups have made attempts to design energy harvesters, however the designs had quite a number of limitations associated with size and frequency, which limited the efficiency of power generation to particular conditions.

The team from IME, however, managed to make a huge progress in the field by conceptualizing a harvester based on aluminum nitrate. The technology was able to generate as much electricity as what three commercial lithium-ion batteries can hold over a decade. Because of its incredible power density, the device is particularly suitable for powering small electronic devices, medical instruments and sensor networks, at a minimal cost and in a highly sustainable way.

One of the most remarkable abilities of the device, is the fact that it can harvest energy in a very wide range, 10th – 100 Hz, which makes it a very effective mean for capturing power from irregular and random sources. Dr Alex Gu, the designer of the energy harvester, explains that this is achieved through a transfer of low frequency vibration energy into a fluid, which synchronizes the input vibrations.

The team is convinced that their invention is definitely the solution to an efficient renewal of energy that will completely transform the way future electronic devices operate.

Image (c) Arman Hajati

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