Elektor Team

Power To / From Shoes

May 12, 2010 | 08:30
Power To / From Shoes
Power To / From Shoes
Original post on Elektor.com

This is a word I keep bumping in to: piezoelectric energy, i'm sure you heard of it. "Piezo crystals" are special minerals that have electromagnetic properties. When piezo crystals are compressed or stretched, they produce an electric field. This is called the "piezoelectric effect." Piezo cells have small, positively charged particles at their center. Whenever force is exerted on the crystal, this small particle is forced to move and create a charge. This electric field can be harnessed to produce voltage. (Thanks eHow). With help of these piezo crystals it's possible to convert movement into electricity. And there's a lot of stuff moving so there's a lot of potential electricity out there. Dr. Ville Kaajakari from Louisiana Tech’s Institute for Micromanufacturing didn't look to far to find potential energy sources. He just looked down.

"Dr. Ville Kaajakari's shoe power generator developed at Louisiana Tech’s Institute for Micromanufacturing (IfM), is based on new voltage regulation circuits that efficiently convert a piezoelectric charge into usable voltage for charging batteries or for directly powering electronics.

“This technology could benefit, for example, hikers that need emergency location devices or beacons,” said Kaajakari.  “For more general use, you can use it to power portable devices without wasteful batteries.”

MEMS Investor Journal is an independent publication that provides investment professionals with the latest developments in the micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) industry.

According to the article, energy harvesting is an attractive way to power MEMS sensors and locator devices such as GPS.  However, power harvesting technologies often fall short in terms of output as many of today’s applications require higher power levels...

read the full article here.
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