Technological innovation continues to emerge as mechanical engineers from University of Wisconsin-Madison are at the moment developing an energy harvesting and storage technology that will enable you charge your smartphone while walking thereby reducing dependence on batteries in mobile devices.
Tom Krupenkin, professor of mechanical engineering, and senior scientist J Ashley Taylor described a technology that could capture the energy produced by humans while they walk and stores it to power mobile devices.
This latest technology could be very useful in the military as soldiers makes use of heavy batteries to power their radios, GPS units and night-vision goggles in the field.
“Human walking carries a lot of energy. Theoretical estimates show that it can produce up to 10 watts per shoe and that energy is just wasted as heat. A total of 20 watts from walking is not a small thing, especially compared to the power requirements of the majority of modern mobile devices,” explained Krupenkin.
Krupenkin said tapping into a small amount of energy being captured while walking is enough to power a wide range of mobile devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptop computers and flashlights.
“We have been developing new methods of directly converting mechanical motion into electrical energy that are appropriate for this type of application,” Krupenkin noted in a paper published in the journal Scientific Reports.
The engineers are looking forward to commercialize the technology through their startup company, InStep NanoPower.