Scientists discover power-harvesting tyre technology

Scientists at American and Chinese universities have report that they have discovered a way of harvesting the “electrostatic charges created on the surfaces of two dissimilar materials when they are brought into physical contact”. This technology, they suggest, could be used in applications such as tyres as a way of harvesting electricity.

Zhong Lin Wang, Jun Chen and Long Lin (working at the School of Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA; and Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing respectively) call their technology the triboelectric nanogenerator or TENG.

Discovery of TENG was first reported in January 2012 by Wang and his team. Their latest paper shows how TENGs can harvest energy from rotating tyres as well as “human motion, walking, vibration, mechanical triggering…wind, flowing water and more”.

The researchers tested the TENGs by putting the material on the back wheels of an electric toy car, which also had six LED lights attached. The power generated by the toy car in motion lit six LED lights, and generated a peak of 1.79 milliwatts. However, researchers believe the output will grow with the size and weight of the tyres used.

The technology is reminiscent of Goodyear’s BH03 battery charging prototype tyre that was exhibited at the Geneva Motorshow earlier in 2015.

Comments closed

We see you are visiting us from China.

If you would like the latest news from the Chinese tyre industry in Chinese, visit our partner site Or click below to continue on Tyrepress.