Aravind Ravichandran1 Marc Ramuz1 Sylvain Blayac1

1, EMSE - CMP, Gardanne, , France

With the rapid development of wearable electronics and sensor networks, batteries cannot meet the sustainable energy requirement due to their limited lifetime, size and degradation. Ambient energies such as wind have been considered as an attractive energy source due to its copious, ubiquity, and feasibility in nature. With miniaturization leading to high-power and robustness, triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) have been conceived as a promising technology by harvesting mechanical energy for powering small electronics. TENG integration in large-scale applications is still unexplored considering its attractive properties.
In this work, a state of the art design TENG based on wind venturi system is demonstrated for use as a self-powered sensor system in any complex environment. When wind introduces into the air gap of the homemade TENG system, a thin flexible polymer repeatedly contacts with and separates from electrodes. This device structure makes the TENG suitable for large scale harvesting without massive volume. Multiple stacking not only amplifies the output power but also enables multi-directional wind utilization.
The sensor system converts ambient mechanical energy to electricity with 400V peak voltage by charging of a 1000mF super capacitor rapidly with 50mW power. Its future implementation in an array of applications aids in environment friendly clean energy production in large scale medium and the proposed design performs with an exhaustive material testing. The relation between the wind and the electrical performance enhancement is comparatively studied.
By considering these merits of simple fabrication, outstanding performance, robust characteristic and low-cost technology, we believe that TENG can open up great opportunities not only for powering small electronics, but can contribute to large-scale energy harvesting through engineering design being complementary to solar energy in remote areas.