Skip to main content

Tribo-Electric-Nanogenerator for Energy Autonomous Devices

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - TENGEAD (Tribo-Electric-Nanogenerator for Energy Autonomous Devices)

Reporting period: 2017-09-01 to 2018-08-31

It is well known that traditional resources for the production of energy, such as coal, not only harm the environment, but also come to an end in the near future. Therefore politics industry and society have to prepare alternatives - and develop concepts that rely on renewable energy. With this in mind we want to do our part to create a sustainable economy and society.

The project started with the idea to develop energy harvesting based sensors which could be used for smart-parking, smart-waste management, indoor navigation, asset tracking and many such applications. There were many market competitors with various products but our idea was novel because of the use of TENGs with the solar cells to create a device which can generate electricity from the rain water drops pressure and other transducing abilities.
The aim of the project was to design and validate new type of energy harvesting material encapsulating solar-cells with tribo-electric-nano-generators (TENGs) and to make a hybrid solution which can last longer, providing good battery power/life. This new material was supposed to be used in the novel energy harvesting sensors developed by Zolitron Technology. To achieve this goal, the main objective of the innovation associate with background from electrical engineering was to help developing the hybrid material in first place. Once desired results were obtained, the next step was to help the hardware team to integrate the material onto the sensor. Once the material is integrated to the sensor, the role of the associate was to measure the relevant data, debug in case of ambiguities and validate the whole design through experimental processes. This work needed adequate technical and experimental knowledge as well as good technical reporting skills.

During the past one year, the innovation associate designed, developed, fabricated and tested many various material and various experimentation setups to produce such material. The first major challenge was to design such material while the next big challenge was to integrate the prototype to electronic module for final production.
Over the last 10 months, we have succeeded in overcoming both the challenges in terms of technicality. We have successfully developed a complete energy autonomous sensor which can work over the life span of approximately 10 years. We published the results in WP-2 which compared the benchmarks to the final result and they are published here again in Figure 1 (see attached pdf) for reminder.r.
Currently, we are deploying our beta version (prototype) at perspective customer’s locations and we are gauging the performance of these sensors. We are constantly testing and updating the reports of the sensors and once all the debugging by the technical team is conducted and finalised, we will be taking steps towards certification of the product.
After the beta testing, we will be applying for certification of our product and license it from the relevant authorities to be used in public places. Once our device passes the certification tests and it is certified, the final step in terms of development would be mass-production of the sensor nodes. For this purpose, we are in conversation with designing companies both inside and outside Germany who can provide us the design support.
In the first phase of production, we have ordered 50-100 pieces. Once our perspective customers are satisfied with the performance, we will be ordering mass production of around 1000. From this point, we will produce on the need basis.

The impact of a senior researcher on a young company is always predominant and effective. Especially when the field of specialization is uncommon and not many people who can work efficiently in the required field. The innovation associate helped the company both technically and academically. He helped in establishing test-beds for experimentation of the core technology, our company has built upon. He helped in establishing contacts with technical institutes, companies, and equipment providers to provide us with all the required knowledge and equipment. The associate was successful enough to acquire modules from companies which are not yet easily available in the market, through his personal contacts. It is important to mention here that most of these equipment and modules were acquired for free on the trial basis which helped the company in continuing the process with spending least amount of money hence saving a lot of capital.