Today, we are living in the world where people understand the importance of sustainable energy and since past few years we have been seeing numerous innovation in the alternative energy sector. Cars being one of a kind revolutionary creation of mankind are also machines that use up lot of energy which mainly comes from natural resources like petrol and diesel. To reduce their carbon footprint, a team of engineers from University of Wisconsin-Madison in U.S have innovated a unique Nanogenerator that could utilise the frictional energy from a rolling tyre to generate electricity.
This nanogenerator is a single-electrode triboelectric type generator that is optimised to make them operational with car tyres. Reclaiming the energy from rolling tyres, that is usually wasted, can extend the battery life and efficiency of electric or hybrid cars.
Creator of the first type of triboelectric nanogenerator in 2012, Zong Lin Wang previously claimed that this type of generator can be very efficient and can regain upto 85 per cent of the total frictional energy. Since, this type of generator harvests the energy that is naturally produced when two different surfaces come closer and again pulled back, then a rotating car tyre is perfect for its application.
Professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison, Xudong Wang said that in its early prototype, they are able to regain 10.4 per cent of the energy. Wang believes that this value will likely to be constant when they develop larger prototypes.
In its prototype, researchers tested the generator by installing six LED lights on a toy car. While in motion, the car was able to light up all six LEDs and at the peak it was able to generate 1.79 milliwatts of current. Researchers say that the power output depends on the weight and the speed of the vehicle, we can expect significantly higher output when the nanogenerator is tested on a larger prototype.