Engineers Harvest and Convert Energy from Vibrating Seat to Charge Cell Phone

A team of engineers from several universities has developed a way to harvest energy from vibrations to charge self-powered electronic devices. The team has created a nanogenerator that utilizes polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), a sponge-like material, which is the key to harvesting vibration energy.

University of Wisconsin-Madison Assistant Professor of materials science and engineering Xudong Wang says “the softer the material, the more sensitive it is to small vibrations.” The nanogenerator features thin electrode sheets that are attached on soft, flexible polymer film which can be affixed to flat, rough or curvy surfaces. When attached to a cell phone, the weight of the phone is used to increase its displacement and increase the electrical output.

Read more about how the team is using these flexible materials to harness and convert energy.