STATES CHRONICLE – With the climate change summit behind us, we’ve been getting more and more brilliant minds working on alternate energy sources. After we learned about a virus and bacteria based nano-reactor a few days ago, MIT brings human motion generated energy sources.
In an attempt to adapt to the newly emerging, albeit questionable wearable technology market, a team of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology led by professor Ju Li has come up with a lithium-ion based prototype that generates energy via human movement.
The device isn’t actually a battery, although many refer to it as such. It is, in fact, an energy generator.
By employing the slight bending of two lithium alloy sheets that are separated by a liquid concentrated in electrolytes, the team developed a completely non mechanical method of generating energy.
Even the slightest of motions, like walking, or reaching for a light switch can be used to bend the sheets of lithium and output energy.
The device works by bending the layers of lithium sheets, which results in a difference of pressure between the two, which in turn forces the lithium ions to be squeezed between the sheets.
An electrical current and a counteracting voltage are also produced between the two electrodes of which the device makes use, and they can be used to directly power devices.
Currently, in its early stages, the device is only about 15% energy effective, but a special characteristic would allow it to highly surpass that limit.
You see, since the device transforms mechanical energy into electrical energy, it isn’t governed by the second universal law of thermodynamics.
Instead of having a limit set on its overall possible efficiency levels, the device could easily reach 100% efficiency. And, according to Professor Ju Li, that aspect is currently being worked on.
The applicability of this new technology is basically as limitless as the uses of electrical energy. Absolutely any device that runs on electricity could be powered by the new invention.
And the fact that it only requires minimal amounts of motion in order to generate electricity speaks volumes about the device’s ability to be mass produced and implemented into modern-day technology.
Imagine a near future where you can charge you phone by walking to work, or where you can power your house by running on a treadmill.
Sadly, despite the technology being available, albeit still in development, you can pretty much be sure that it won’t see as much use as it could, since some very powerful factions would lose capital if this were to happen.
Image source: Wikimedia