A device that captures vibration to produce electricit
Monday, 23 May 2005 01:32
From ABC's Innovations program 9 May 2005
A renewable energy device that captures vibration to produce electricity is making moves towards commercialisation.
The Kinetic Energy Cell is an Australian invention that generates electricity from the movement of cars, trucks, ships, even people and looks set to replace or complement small conventional batteries for a range of every day applications and enable the reliable powering of new technologies.
The project actually began in an attempt to create a replacement for the lithium batteries that actually go into keyless entry systems for automobiles. This is normally the little black tag that you have attached to your key – press the button and it opens a car door. In an attempt to remove or reduce the number of lithium batteries which become a pollutant in the environment when they get to their expiry, we looked at harvesting the amount of energy that you can provide by simply walking to your vehicle or for example, it could be either in your pocket or in a lady’s handbag and the idea was that we could generate power only over a distance of ten metres and that would be acceptable to a motorist. So the application was all about generating enough power to be able to trigger the system. Of course, if we walked for longer than that you’d be generating excess power which we could store in the super capacitor and in a small capacitor. The application required to power a very short burst or a very short transmission of radio frequency energy which could actually trigger the receiver in the car, so it’s a device which began ideally suited to what we call small burst transmissions. We’ve continued to look for applications like that – and the e-tag application is a classic example of it.
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