Energy-Harvesting Shoes With Reverse Electrowetting

Power your phone or iPad with the power of walking! Engineering researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have described a new energy-harvesting technology that could be embedded in your shoes.

"Humans, generally speaking, are very powerful energy-producing machines," explains Krupenkin, a UW-Madison professor of mechanical engineering. "While sprinting, a person can produce as much as a kilowatt of power."


(Schematics of three major droplet actuation mechanisms)
These include (a) droplets between oscillating plates,
(b) droplets between sliding plates, and
(c) droplets in a microchannel.
(d) Shows in greater detail schematics of reverse-electrowetting-based
energy generation process in a microchannel geometry.

...we have developed a radically new mechanical-to-electrical energy conversion method that is based on reverse electrowetting—a novel microfluidic phenomenon4. Energy generation is achieved through the interaction of arrays of moving microscopic liquid droplets with a novel multilayer thin film.

We believe that this approach has a number of significant advantages, over existing mechanical-energy-harvesting technologies, including very high power densities, up to 103 W m−2, ability to directly utilize a very broad range of mechanical forces and displacements, including those not accessible by traditional piezoelectric or electromagnetic methods, and ability to output a broad range of currents and voltages, from several volts to tens of volts without the need for up or down voltage conversion.

In his classic 1965 novel Dune, sf great Frank Herbert writes about water-reclamation suits that are powered by the motions of the body, including walking:

...Paul sat on the edge of his bed and began stripping off his desert boots. They smelled rancid from the lubricant which eased the action of the heel-powered pumps that drove his stillsuit...
(Read more about Herbert's stillsuit)

From Reverse electrowetting as a new approach to high-power energy harvesting via University of Wisconsin.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/25/2011)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Engineering ")

Super-Resolution Microscopy Provides '4D' Views
View the magnified interior of living cells.

Physicists Try To Turn Light Into Matter
If E=mc squared, then... m=E/c squared!

Dune Fans! Power Your Devices With Sweaty Shirts
Yet another power source from humans.

Zero Mass 'Vaporators' Pull Drinking Water From The Air
Did you think of Star Wars?

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Swarm Of Mindless Robots Works Together
'Very tiny pseudo insects that... can unite to form a superordinate system.'

SpotMini Robot Dog, Autonomous And On Sale In 2019
Great, an autonomous slamhound. It is cute, though.

RoboFly Is Laser-Powered, Adorable
Don't swat this fly!

MSG Sphere Las Vegas, ala Star Wars
'The smoky globe, hung in the vault, was shot with colored light...'

Tetraplegics Dominate Avatar Races
Well, just speaking brain-to-computer...

MIT Ampli Blocks Build Biomedical Devices
Damn it Spock, I'm a doctor not an engineer!

UberAIR Asks For Skytaxi Landing Prototypes
You know you want to ride in one.

Boring Tunnel Almost Ready
Your underground future is calling!

Handheld Human Skin Printer
It outputs a thin wad of uniflesh.

Healthy Fast Food Courtesy Of Robot Chefs
'The electric cook was stirring empty nothing in a pan, with a zeal worthy a dozen eggs.'

Mass Production Of In Vitro Meat From One Sample
They're Assimilating Our Culture, That's What They're Doing

Amazing 'Hybrid' Solar-Powered Sea Slug Does Photosynthesis
Thank goodness for Star Trek.

Retinal Prosthesis Uses Organic Printing Inks
We can rebuild you - well, your eyes, maybe.

Should You Submit Your DNA To A Database?
Consumer DNA services are often inaccurate.

Squid-Like Robots Soon To Be 3D Printable
'It was a chemotactic artificial jellyfish designed to slither...'

Humans Evolve Deep Diving Abilities
Sounds like '60s sci-fi to me.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.