IIT Mandi researchers propose technique to generate electricity from floor tiles
Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi have proposed a technique to enhance the power output of piezoelectric materials which can be used in floor tiles to generate electricity from human walking, or on roads, where the weight from the vehicles can power road lights and signals.
IIT Mandi researchers have numerically studied piezoelectric materials – materials that interconvert mechanical energy and electrical energy – and have proposed a new arrangement to enhance the electrical output of these materials when subjected to stress. The results of their work have been published in the journal Engineering Reports.
The research paper has been co-authored by researcher scholars Raj Kiran, Sourav Sharma along with Anuruddh Kumar, IIT Mandi alumnus currently working at Hanyang University, North Korea, under the supervision of Rajeev Kumar and Rahul Vaish, associate professors, School of Engineering, IITMandi.
Rajeev Kumar said piezoelectric materials can generate electrical energy when a force is applied on them and are thus extremely useful. “Such materials can, for example, be used in floor tiles to generate electrical energy from walking or on roads where the weight from the vehicles can power road lights and signals. However, currently, the electrical energy produced by these materials is very low, which limits their applications in real life situations,” he said.
Meanwhile, Rahul Vaish said, “We have developed a technique known as graded poling to enhance the power output of piezoelectric materials by more than 100 times.”
The researchers have used numerical techniques to utilise multiple mechanical stresses – bending, compressive and tensile stresses at the top and bottom of thepiezoelectric cantilever beams and shear stresses in the mid-section – in order to significantly improve the electrical output.