Researchers at Georgia Tech have created a hybrid lithium-ion battery that charges itself when pressure is applied to it. The pressure could come from movement such marching, blowing air, etc… The breakthrough technology would change the way we use portable devices and the solution can be scalable for larger commercial application within next few years.
The researchers, Xinyu Xue, Sihong Wang, Wenxi Guo, Yan Zhang, and Zhong Lin Wang, from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, have published their study on combining energy generation and storage in a single unit in a recent issue of Nano Letters.
(Phys.org) — Renewable energy technologies generally consist of two distinct processes: energy generation (using sources such as coal, solar, wind, etc.) and energy storage (such as batteries). These two processes are always accomplished through two separate units, with the first process converting the original form of energy to electricity, and the second process converting electricity to chemical energy. Now for the first time, engineers have demonstrated that energy can be generated and stored in a single device that converts mechanical energy directly to chemical energy, bypassing the intermediate step of electricity generation. The device basically acts as a hybrid generator-battery unit, or in other words, a self-charging power cell. [Physi.org]
[Video courtesy of CNN]