Many electronic devices run on lithium-ion batteries. When these batteries discharge, the electronic devices become useless. So to recharge the lithium-ion batteries, a team of scientists consisting four members has developed a portable nano-generator that is capable of partially charging a lithium-ion battery using ambient energy as a power source.
Four scientists – Sihong Wang, Ya Yang, Yan Zhang, and Zhon Lin Wang – have developed a portable nano-generator which they call “Pyroelectric Nanogenerator” (in short PENG). PENG gathers thermal energy through the use of the pyroelectric effect. Scientists have built a 21 mmx12 mmx175 micrometer thick lead zirconate titante, in short PZT (an organic compound and a ceramic perovskite material), that can provide a maximum output of 22V, with a peak current of 430 nA.
Scientists applied the energy-harvesting ability of PENG to a lithium-ion battery. The team found that they had managed to charge the battery in between 650mV to 810mV. Though PENG can provide a maximum output of 22V, the current is still too small to deliver power to devices faster than their batteries discharge. But the scientists are assuming if they could double the area of the film, that might be able to double PENG’s current. They believe increasing the thickness of the film may increase the PENG’s current as well.
Now, scientists hope that with a higher current, in future PENG might be able to charge small devices. For more details, visit ACS where scientists have published their research paper with the title “Pyroelectric Nanogenerators for Driving Wireless Sensors.”