When using devices such as laptops and phones, a certain amount of energy is always wasted via heat. However, researcher Dr. Long Que at Louisiana Tech University has made a green tech breakthrough by creating a tool that can harvest energy from heat wasted by electronic gadgets. His piezoelectric device could potentially revolutionize the energy efficiency of our current gadgets.
Que’s device, called a CNF-PZT Cantilever, consists of a “carbon nanotube film on a cantilever base of piezoelectric material.” When the carbon nanotube film absorbs thermal energy, such as heat and light from other devices, it forces the cantilever to bend. The cyclical bending then generates an electric current in the piezoelectric material.
According to a press release, “the device could generate enough power to adequately operate some low-power microsensors and integrated sensors. One of the most unique and innovative aspects of this energy harvesting system is its ability to “self-reciprocate” – the perpetual production of energy without needing to consume other external energy sources.”
Piezoelectric energy harvesting is not new and has already been incorporated into a variety of applications, such as dance floors that power lights and other kinetic energy devices. However, this breakthrough tech transform how we use our everyday devices.
Lead photo © William Hook