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Saturday, 18 May 2019

Japanese researchers develop a micro-electromechanical energy harvester that runs on ambient energy

[Natural News]: Even as internet of things devices grow ever smaller, they continue to require more power. But most of these smart devices are too small to fit batteries and power cords might restrict them. This led Japanese researchers to refine an existing tool which could collect electromechanical energy from its surroundings.

Their new energy harvester is called a micro-electronic mechanical system (MEMS). It could harness mechanical vibrations and other sources of ambient energy, turning them into electrical power for microelectronic devices.

The Tokyo Institute of Technology research team further improved upon existing designs for MEMS. Their innovative take on the energy-harvesting system displayed higher compatibility with many more types of electronic devices, including those that featured miniaturized sensors.

A standard MEMS energy harvester gathers ambient energy with the help of a built-in electret. The electrical counterpart of a permanent magnet, an electret holds a stable charge of electric power, thanks to the arrangement of its internal structure. In addition to the electret, the MEMS also features a tunable capacitor and a moving electrode that responds to ambient forces. When an ambient force acts upon the electrode, it prompts the charges of the capacitor to start moving around. The ensuing movement of charges generates enough electricity to power increasingly Star Trek-ish smart devices....read more>>...

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