November 10, 2008

Wire generates electricity

Attach the ends of the right kind of wire to electrodes and you can generate electricity from motion.

The piezoelectric wire generator converts mechanical energy to electricity when the wire is stretched. A strain of about a tenth of a percent produces up to 45 millivolts in bursts as the wire is stretched and released. The generator converts as much as 6.8 percent of mechanical energy to electricity

The wire is embedded in flexible plastic. Piezoelectric wire generators can be built into clothing, shoes and flags, and can be implanted in the body. The generators could power small electronic devices like sensors and medical implants.

Research paper:
Power Generation with Laterally Packaged Piezoelectric Fine Wires
Nature Nanotechnology, published online November 9, 2008

Researchers' homepages:
Zhong Lin (ZL) Wang's Nanoscience and Nanotechnology group
Liming Dai

Related stories and briefs:
Nano brushes generate power -- precursor research
Power suits -- related research
Nano electricity -- related research

Back to ERN November 17/24, 2008



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