A team of scientists from the University of Alabama assembled a simple and cheap generator of electrical energy from improvised materials purchased at a nearby hardware store. We are talking about the so-called triboelectric generator, when energy is extracted from movement or friction. Typically, such generators were made from special materials, but the experimenters surprised by using the most common components.
The design proposed by scientists includes double-sided tape bought in a store and a plastic film, which were placed between thin aluminum plates, also found on the market. When the layers are connected and disconnected, discharges of static electricity arise between them and they are the stronger, the stronger the pressure on the layers.
The created version of the generator with two electrodes showed a power density of 169.6 W/m 2 . This value is 47% higher than previous designs based on special materials. The scientists used the electricity thus obtained to light an array of more than 400 LEDs, simply by squeezing and unclenching the layers. Scientists on their knees assembled a generator whose capabilities and performance reached more complex and expensive versions.
Such generators will find use in powering wearable electronics - they work well from friction in clothing components; on the basis of triboelectric generators, it is possible to create floors in rooms to power lighting; hearing aids can be powered by membrane vibrations, as are many other scenarios for using generators based on this principle. And it's just great that expensive and rare materials are not needed to manufacture such generators.