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Alternative energy news, and information about renewable energy technologies.

Apr 07

New Nanogenerator for Ipods and Cellphones

Posted in Energy Inventions | Future Technology

Nanogenerator In the 237th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) an interesting fact came to light that in near future we can recharge our cell phones or iPods by waving or stretching our arms, beating of your heart or going for a walk. We don’t need to plug-in our devices in a socket. They can be recharged with the movement of our body parts or our blood circulation inside the body will be enough to recharge the mobile. “Quite simply, this technology can be used to generate energy under any circumstances as long as there is movement,” Zhong Lin Wang who is the lead researcher, stated in a news release.


The fundamentals are quite simple. We know that movement of our body produces mechanical energy. This mechanical energy can be harnessed to recharge electronic gadgets with the help of “nanogenerator.” This nanotech device is made up of zinc oxide nanowires. These nanowires have a unique property known as piezoelectric property. The nanowires produce a small electrical pulse when they’re bent, stretched, or subjected to mechanical stress. The scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology explained how mini generators utilizing zinc oxide nanowires could also produce energy from the environment, turning low-frequency vibrations like the movement of a light breeze into electricity. Zhong Lin Wang said, the device could be used to charge iPods and BlackBerrys and their effect will be felt on defense technology, environmental monitoring and biomedical sciences. “This technology can be used to generate energy under any circumstances as long as there is movement,” he said.

The tiny zinc oxide nanowires, are of 1/5,000th diameter of a human hair. Their one of the major benefits is that the nanowires can be grown on a variety of surfaces — metals, ceramics, polymers, clothing and even tents. Zinc oxide nanowires are functional as nanogenerators in both air and liquid. Zinc oxide (ZnO) nanowires are very good conductors of electricity.

Nanogenerators can be very useful for military and medical practitioners. The military often operates in far flung areas without adequate power back up. They can utilize their advanced electronic equipments with the help of nanogenerators. Medical practitioners too can benefit from nanogenerators. They can use their devices in case of back-up power failures. It can help in tackling bioterrorism. Because having a sensor which doesn’t need batteries could be exceptionally helpful to the military and police sampling air for potential bioterrorism attacks in the United States. Another important benefit of this new technology is it can generate electricity continuously and simultaneously. On the other hand, the greatest obstacle in developing these nanogenerators is to improve the output voltage and power.

  • Jennifer

    Just think what kind of energy they’d make with the wind top/along the side of those skyscrapers!

  • http://www.facebook.com/alternative.energy.news Timothy Thompson

    They need to put a rush on this.

  • Chuck

    This is a great development with many applications. The nanotechnology aspect of power generation is new, but harnessing mechanical energy on small scales is not. In 1770, the Swiss watchmaker Abraham-Louis Perrelet invented a self-winding mechanism in 1770 for pocket watches. This utilizes the movement of it’s wearer to wind the watch mechanism, and is still in use to this day. I guess the watchmakers of the world were the world’s first, “nanotechnologists!”

  • http://www.ravenmountainfarms.com Doug

    Wow! No this is what we’ve been needing! Let’s hope it doesn’t get buried by the oil companies.

  • Dave

    It will be interesting to see where this technology goes. The uses seem endless, sometimes the best discoveries come in small packages.

  • laspeed13

    Kids in Physical Ed classes should be required to wear a nanogenerator to recharge their cell phone or iPod batteries, while they are exercising. Or they could charge rechargeable battery packs, that could be plugged into one big central “recharger” with 20 or 30 of newly adopted Micro USB charging cords coming off of it, at the front of their classrooms. All kids would be required to place their phones on the green nano charger at the front of the classroom when they enter.

  • trebla

    Wristwatches have long had rotor devices to wind up their spring and/or charge their batteries – since about 40 years now!

  • JRIOT

    Wouldn’t it be great if they built these Nanogenerators around springs. Then every time a spring was compressed or bounced back it would create energy. For example the springs that push the keys back up when we type on a keyboard; or the shocks in our cars.

  • Manoj

    It is very nice to use ZnO as a nanogenertaor, but why ZnO in Nanoscale, it can be used as a bulk for Piezoelectric application because D33 is low in case of nano scale ZnO.


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