Science Daily is rubbing their hands (and stomping their feet) over new breakthroughs in harnessing your everyday movements to power up your batteries:
…[Georgia Institute of Technology professor Zhong Lin] Wang then developed the first triboelectric nanogenerator, or “TENG.” He paired two sheets of different materials together — one donates electrons, and the other accepts them. When the sheets touch, electrons flow from one to the other. When the sheets are separated, a voltage develops between them.
Since his lab’s first publication on TENG in 2012, they have since boosted the power output density by a factor of 100,000, with the output power density reaching 300 Watts per square meter. Now with one stomp of his foot, Wang can light up a sheet with a thousand LED bulbs.
His group has incorporated TENG into shoe insoles, whistles, foot pedals, floor mats, backpacks and ocean buoys for a variety of potential applications. These gadgets harness the power of everyday motion from the minute (think vibrations, rubbing, stepping) to the global and endless (waves).
Researchers could use the technology to tap into the endless energy of ocean waves, rain drops and the wind all around us — with tiny generators rather than towering turbines — to help feed the world’s ever-growing energy demand, he said.