IIT Mandi (Himachal Pradesh): While the world is finding different cleaner ways of producing energy, researchers from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mandi developed a new way to generate electricity, that is, simply by walking on a street.
Climate change and global warming have impacted the planet in various ways, forcing scientists and researchers produce newer and cleaner ways to produce energy.
This new technology developed by IIT Mandi researchers uses piezoelectric materials. These materials are used to inter-convert mechanical energy and electrical energy. The materials are embedded into the streets, where people, vehicles move. When the movement happens, the material gets activated and generates energy. When it comes under stress, the material converts mechanical energy into electricity. However, as it sounds in theory, the process, in reality, is not really impactful. As the energy produced by the materials is extremely low, it limits their applications.
The researchers at IIT Mandi has reconstructed the application with new technology - graded polling. One of the lead researchers, Dr Rahul Vaish, said in a statement, "We have developed a technique known as "graded poling" to enhance the power output of piezoelectric materials by more than 100 times."
Different mechanical stresses such as bending, compressive and tensile stresses at the top and bottom of the piezoelectric cantilever beams and shear stresses in the mid-section, have been used by the scientists to boost the overall electrical output.
The institution said in a statement, "The results of this study and the enormous improvements possible through the graded poling technique offers an incentive for researchers to develop actual piezoelectric designs that implement the graded poling technique so that the applications can be realised. The researchers recommend possible steps to achieve these designs in practice, such as partially connecting the right face of the sample to the ground and top faces being applied with an electric potential."