This article was 1st published on our sister Site, Digital World Native.
Researchers at Australia’s University of Surrey have come up with a way of using nanomaterials that generate electricity to help develop wearable tech products much faster. Using this new tool, wearable product designers can make accurate predictions on how a wearable product will perform before it’s actually produced.
The researchers led by Ph.D. research student R.D.I.G. Dharmasena, Dr. K.D.G.I. Jayawardena, & Dr. C.A. Mills, among others, centers on the properties of Triboelectric Nanogenerators (TENGs). TENGs are an emerging tech that’s being used for energy harvesting & University of Surrey researchers have come up with a unified theory explaining their behavior.
The unified theoretical model explaining how TENGs work is based on Maxwell’s equations & uses a distance-dependent electric field concept to come up with a theoretical platform for highly accurate vertical charge polarization. This results in the possibility of being able to precisely design & construct TENG based energy harvesters that can be used in wearables.
According to Dharmasena, the nanomaterials become electrically charged when they touch each other resulting in the creation of a static charge, thus gathering a static charge & movement energy with electrostatic induction. So when any sort of movement a person makes can result in the creation of electricity & household electronic products as well as wearables can use this for energy gathering & control purposes.
Although this tech is still in an early research & development phase it’s expected that the new understanding & tools will boost efforts to put it to use in the not too distant future. Its main use is expected to be in the consumer electronics use in the burgeoning wearables space, as well as a source for energy in underdeveloped countries & places where the electric grid doesn’t quite reach.