Available Technology

Compliant electrode and composite materials for piezoelectric wind and mechanical energy conversions

NASAs Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting Technology
The NASA researchers integrated two innovations into this unique piezoelectric device. First, they combined polyvinylidene flouride (PVDF) with a metal oxide to improve conductance. Second, they designed a new carbon-electrode to improve durability (compliance) and reduce susceptibility to fatigue while retaining flexibility. Additionally, to integrate the carbon nanotube components, they use a polymer-to-polymer design that eliminates the need for adhesion layers. A prototype device generated 1 W power (at 15 mph wind) with a single layer of PVDF [4 inch by 12 inch and 50 um (micrometer) thick] sandwiched between two thin electrode films. A rectifier converts the AC signal into a DC signal and stores the charge in a capacitor. This electric power can be used for low power consuming devices, such an inaccessible sensors.
Patent Abstract: 
Thin film, piezoelectric materials generate a small voltage whenever they are deformed, suggesting that they are suitable for tapping energy from freely available resources, such as the wind. Yet their low-energy production levels and lack of electrode durability have hampered development. NASA researchers have invented a system, method, and device for improving the performance and increasing the lifespan of small form factor, thin film electrode, piezoelectric devices capable of interacting with the wind to provide power to wearable devices and stretchable electronics.
Benefits 

The metal oxide improves the conductance

applications 

Wearable electronics

Wind energy harvesting

Mechanical energy harvesting

Sustainable energy

Reps: 
Patent Number: 
9,024,510
Internal Laboratory Ref #: 
TOP2-231
Patent Status: 
Patent Issue Date: 
May 14, 2015
Agency
NASA
Region
Far West
State: 
California
Lab Representatives
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