Research shows that little wind is needed to get the nanogenerator to work. A breeze at a speed of about 1.6 meters per second is enough to generate energy. “You can collect all the breezes in your everyday life,” Ya Yang jokes. And use them to power small appliances that you use every day. “We once placed our nanogenerator on someone’s arm and the airflow created by swinging his arm was enough to generate energy.” And let LED lights shine, for example.
Although the device is already quite small – the smallest prototype is about the size of a coin – Yang and colleagues want to make it even smaller. The idea is that it will then be easier to use in the future to supply small electronic devices – such as telephones – directly with sustainably generated electricity.
… And bigger
In addition, however, Yang and colleagues are also considering making the devices much larger and even having them compete with traditional windmills. “We can place these devices where traditional wind turbines cannot reach. For example on mountains or on the roofs of buildings. ”
Yang emphasizes that these generators are not intended to make the wind turbine superfluous. “Our goal is to solve problems that wind turbines cannot solve. Unlike wind turbines that have a fixed price with their coils and magnets, we can choose cheap materials for our device. And it can also be used safely in nature reserves or cities because there are no rotating parts. ”