In the not too distant future, smart cities will have the opportunity to “collect” energy literally from the sidewalk, since by that time they will be equipped with special generation systems powered by pedestrian footsteps. Thus, places of mass gathering of people will become something like power plants.
While existing solutions in this area use electromagnetic induction to generate electricity, a team of scientists at UW-Madison University has invented a material based on the triboelectric effect, where static electricity is generated by the friction of two materials.
Power generation by roads has long been of interest to research leader Xudong Wang. He came up with the idea to extract energy from the tires of a moving car using cellulose microfibers less than a millimeter thick. Now he has applied this technology to wood flooring.
The fact is that some of these fibers, treated with a special composition, upon contact with "clean" fibers as a result of vibration, generate electricity, which can be used for lighting, charging batteries and other household needs.
“Initial tests in our laboratory showed that the material we created can withstand up to a million cycles, ” says Xudong Wang. for long-term operation ".
Nanofibers are relatively inexpensive, and when embedded in the floor, the homeowner has an additional source of virtually free energy at his disposal. It is easy to guess that on the scale of a large building, the energy effect increases many times over.