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Index of technologies and resources related to energy generation and harvesting using piezoelectric effects.



Impact is converted to electricity.

Energy Designs

  • Featured: Vibrations > Piezoelectric >
    Vibration Energy Harvesters by MicroGen Systems, Inc. - University of Virginia alumnus Robert Andosca and his Ph.D. Advisor, Professor Junru Wu, have developed a tiny vibration energy scavenging device, half the size of a sugar cube. The "MEMS" device — for microelectromechanical systems — converts mechanical energy into electricity using a special "piezoelectric" material that generates a charge at the slightest jostle. (PESWiki; June 24, 2014)
  • Road Power - Applications of the piezoelectric technology include rail beds, road beds, and sidewalks. (Free Energy Blog; May 22, 2014)
  • Nanotech / Solar / Piezoelectric >
    Using Nanotechnology to Capture the Energy Around Us - Dr. Zhong Lin Wang, Professor from the Georgia Institute of Technology, has developed a way to harness both sunlight and small movements in the same hybrid cell. To construct a nanogenerator, Wang grew a vertical array of microscopic zinc oxide (ZnO) wires on a flat base. On top of this, he placed an electrode with multiple pointed peaks that give it a “zig-zag” appearance. (PureEnergyBlog; May 19, 2013)
  • Fundraisers / OS > Electromagnetic > Solid State > Piezoelectric > Hutchison >
    John Hutchison's R&D Fundraiser Progressing - See his video that features a solid state apparatus that powers two motors. At the core of the set-up is a barium cylinder, which has ferro-electric and piezoelectric properties. Once he raises enough to replicate this in a manner that allows clear disclosure of the required components, John says he wants to open source it. (GoFundMe; December 8, 2012)
  • Piezoelectric / Electrostatic > from Friction >
    How Friction May Someday Charge Your Cell Phone - A nanogenerator made from inexpensive materials harvests mechanical energy and produces enough power to charge personal electronics. Georgia Tech researchers demonstrated that a static charge phenomenon, called the triboelectric effect, can be harnessed to produce power using a type of plastic, polyethylene terephthalate, and a metal. (MIT Technology Review; November 19, 2012)
  • Piezoelectric / Storage > Batteries > Li-ion >
    Self-Charging Battery Transforms Vibrations Directly Into Chemical Energy - A research team and the Georgia Institute of Technology has invented a lithium ion battery that charges itself by using the environment vibrations. Unlike other similar devices, this one is highly efficient, because it converts mechanical energy in chemical energy directly, without using electricity as a middleman. A piezoelectric membrane is at the Lithium Cobalt [...] (Green Optimistic; August 23, 2012)
  • Piezoelectric / Solar / Wind >
    Piezo-Photovoltaic Device Creates Electricity From Wind/Rain/Sun - A new device that harvests energy from raindrops, winds or sunlight has been invented at the Institute for Materials Research and Innovation at the University of Bolton, UK. Elias Siores led a team who created a special polymer with piezoelectric and photosensitive properties. (Green Optimistic; June 15, 2011)
  • Piezoelectric / Human-Powered >
    Yell at Your Phone to Charge It: New Piezoelectric Device Could Help You - Imagine that one day you could charge your mobile phone or other low-consumption devices just by placing them in noisy areas or by yelling at them. South-Korean scientists from the Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, are now studying a type of zinc oxide-based device that could do just that. (Green Optimistic; May 10, 2011)
  • Piezoelectric >
    Nanogenerators Grow Strong Enough To Power Small Conventional Electronics - In the laboratory of Zhong Lin Wang at Georgia Tech, the blinking number on a small LCD signals the success of a five-year effort to power conventional electronic devices with nanoscale generators that harvest mechanical energy from the environment using an array of tiny nanowires, to power nanoscale and microscale devices. (Energy Daily; November 9, 2010)
  • Piezoelectric / Nanotech >
    New piezoelectric device harvests wasted energy from electronics - A new device made out of piezoelectric material by researchers at Louisiana Tech University could allow a wide range of electronic devices to harvest their own wasted operational energy. It is coated with a carbon nanotube film on one side that causes the cantilever to bend back and forth repeatedly when it absorbs light and/or heat. (GizMag; Oct. 11, 2010) (Inhabitat)
  • Wind > Piezoelectrics / Farms / Piezoelectricity >
    Windstalk concept is a wind farm without the turbines - An interesting Windstalk concept devised by New York design firm Atelier DNA could overcome the aesthetics and vibrations contentions to wind farms while still allowing a comparable amount of electricity to be generated by the wind. The array of densely arranged poles are packed with a stack of piezoelectric ceramic discs. Fluid in the base of the poles would turn turbines. (GizMag; October 13, 2010)
  • Piezoelectric >
    Quick jolt of energy could improve energy harvesting by a factor of 40 - Researchers from the LGEF Laboratory at the University of Lyon have proposed that an initial energy injection extracted from the harvested energy itself could greatly increase the total piezoelectric energy output. This method could generate 20 times more energy than normal when using off-the-shelf components, and up to 40 times more when using low-loss devices. (PhysOrg; July 21, 2010)
  • Piezoelectric / Nanotech / Biomimicry / Water Heating >
    Vein-Like Piezoelectric Shower Harvests Water Pressure to Heat Water - This concept for a self-heating piezoelectric shower combines inspiration from the human body’s circulatory system with technological innovations in piezoelectricity. The fluid web of piping heats water by utilizing energy from friction produced by flowing water through the piezoelectric nano channels, which produces electricity by which heat is applied to the water. (Inhabitat; Apr. 29, 2010)
  • Piezoelectric / Human-Powered > Step Action >
    Shoe Generator Harvests Power from Walking - A researcher at Louisiana Tech University designed a shoe that contains a small generator in its sole that generates a piezoelectric charge, which is then converted into electricity for charging batteries or powering small electronics in real time. Kaajakari employed a low-cost, polymer transducer, a soft, flexible material that replaces the shoe’s heel shock absorber without sacrificing user experience. (Science Daily; Apr. 27, 2010)
  • Piezoelectric / Hydrogen > Hydrogen Production >
    Crystals + sound + water = clean hydrogen fuel - A new material raises the prospect of extracting hydrogen from water using noise pollution – from major roads, for example. A team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison made crystals of zinc oxide that, when immersed in water, absorb vibrations and develop areas of strong negative and positive charge that results in ripping apart nearby water molecules. (New Scientist; March 16, 2010) (Inhabitat)
  • Piezoelectric / Thermal Electric >
    Physicists Shrink Heat Engines by Seven Orders of Magnitude - A 0.5 cubic micrometer heat engine being developed by NXP Semiconductors in the Netherlands is essentially a bar of piezoelectric material which expands and contracts when an alternating current is applied, which changes the resistance of the bar, so passing a DC current through the bar at the same time causes the bar to heat up and cool down... (MIT Technology Review; Jan. 22, 2010) (Thanks Jim Dunn)
  • Energy Harvesting ‘Piezo-tree’ Concept - Researchers at Cornell University are developing what they call a Piezo-tree fitted with flexible plates that oscillate just as a flag or leaf might flap in the wind. They recently found that power increases 100-fold if they attach a plastic film to the end of the plates. (Alt Energy News; Jan. 6, 2010)
  • Generating electricity from air flow - A group of researchers at the City College of New York are developing a piezoelectric device, which when placed in the wake of a cylinder -- such as on the back of a truck -- the flow of air will cause the devices to vibrate in resonance. On the roof of car, they will shake in a much more unsteady flow known as a turbulent boundary layer. (EScienceNews; Nov. 22, 2009)
  • Harvesting Energy from Natural Motion - A team at Duke University has come up with at device that is basically a small cantilever with an end magnet that interacts with nearby magnets. The cantilever base is piezoelectric, releasing electrical voltage when strained. By changing the distance of the magnets, the researchers "tune" the interactions of the system with its environment. (Duke University; Oct. 28, 2009)
  • Produce Electricity While You Drive - Piezoelectricity can be put to use making electricity from the mechanical stress from vehicles passing over roadways. The concept was originally developed by Innowattech, who plans to lay down a sort of test road in Israel. (Alt Energy News; Oct. 7, 2009)
  • Nanotechnology >
    Secrets Of Electricity-Producing Materials - A team of University of Houston scientists has set out to both amplify and provoke the potential in materials known as piezoelectrics, which naturally produce electricity when subjected to strain, such as mechanical movement or jostling. The objective is to create nanodevices that can power electronics, such as cell phones, MP3 players and even biomedical implants. (Energy Daily; July 29, 2009) (Thanks Jim Dunn)
  • Talk-powered cell phones? Nanoscale piezoelectrics could make it real - A team of Texas researchers, who appear to have discovered that by building a certain type of piezoelectric material to a specific thickness (about 21 nanometers, compared to a typical human hair of 100,000 nanometers), you can boost its energy production by 100 percent. (NetworkWorld; Dec. 2, 2008)
  • Harvesting power from raindrops - Scientists from Europe’s Atomic Energy Commission, in Grenoble, France, have shown that vibrations from raindrops landing on a certain type of plastic can collect up to 12.5 milliwatts of instantaneous power from one large droplet; 5,000 of these drops would light up a 60-watt bulb. (Plenty; June 19, 2008)
  • New Small-scale Generator Produces Alternating Current By Stretching Zinc Oxide Wires - The new "flexible charge pump" generator is the fourth generation of devices designed to produce electrical current by using the piezoelectric properties of zinc oxide structures to harvest mechanical energy from the environment. It can produce an oscillating output voltage of up to 45 millivolts, converting nearly seven percent of the mechanical energy applied directly to the zinc oxide wires into electricity. (Science daily; Nov. 10, 2008)
  • Directory:Strike-Heel Generation - New directory dedicated to piezoelectric and heel-strike generation systems for generating power from "good vibrations". (PESWiki)
  • Power from Fabrics - Researchers at Georgia Tech have made a flexible fiber coated with zinc oxide nanowires that can convert mechanical energy into electricity. The fibers, the researchers say, should be able to harvest any kind of vibration or motion for electric current. (MIT Technology Review; Feb. 14, 2008)
  • Motion to energy generator - M2E Power is developing a motion to energy generator that could replace batteries and even be used in large scale applications. The company is working on a D-cell battery sized solution to power mobile devices and plans to to demonstrate the technology's usefulness in wind, wave power and hydro applications. (; Nov. 16, 2007)
  • Nanowire Extracts Energy from Motion - Researchers at the University of Illinois are working on making a nanogenerator out of barium titanate, which exhibits a greater piezoelectric effect than zinc-oxide, to convert miniscule mechanical energy into electricity for biosensors and tiny portable devices. (MIT Technology Review; Oct. 22, 2007)
  • "Wind Tree" Electrical Generator - Imagine harnessing the power of hundreds of leaves fluttering in the wind. Richard Dickson is developing a passive wind harvesting technology that uses piezoelectric materials woven into textile-like material to form artificial leaves for a bio-mimicking "tree".
  • Piezoelectric Generator - Richard Dickson proposes using the piezoelectric effect for generating electricity, where pressure turns into electricity, from environments such as wave action or roadway impact. The question is one of cost and feasibility, not whether or not it would work.
  • Advanced Cerametrics - Extreme Life Span Micro Power Supplies convert up to 70% of energy from ambient vibration to electrical power using piezoelectric composite fibers. They eliminate battery replacement issues for security sensors, monitoring equipment, machine health condition systems, building controls and process controls.
  • Backpack straps harvest energy to power electronics - All that rubbing of your backpack straps on your shoulders may be put to good use, now that researchers have designed a novel type of energy harvesting backpack with straps made of a piezoelectric material that can convert the mechanical strain on the straps into electrical energy. (PhysOrg; Sept. 13, 2007)
  • Harvesting Rain Power Via Piezoelectric Landing Pads - Scientists from CEA/Leti-Minatec in France have developed a system that recovers the vibration energy from raindrops falling on a piezoelectric structure. The system works with raindrops ranging in diameter from 1 to 5 mm. Simulations show that it's possible to recover up to 12 milliwatts from one of the larger "downpour" drops.
  • Link to another one if you know of one

In the News

  • Nanotech / Solar / Piezoelectric >
    Using Nanotechnology to Capture the Energy Around Us - Dr. Zhong Lin Wang, Professor from the Georgia Institute of Technology, has developed a way to harness both sunlight and small movements in the same hybrid cell. To construct a nanogenerator, Wang grew a vertical array of microscopic zinc oxide (ZnO) wires on a flat base. On top of this, he placed an electrode with multiple pointed peaks that give it a “zig-zag” appearance. (PureEnergyBlog; May 19, 2013)


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