Madison, Wisconsin – A team of engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) have developed a device that harvests energy from a car's rolling tire friction.
The ‘nanogenerator’ device relies on “the triboelectric effect” to harness energy from the changing electric potential between the pavement and a vehicle's wheels, said a 29 June press release,
Xudong Wang an associate professor of materials science and engineering at UW-Madison and his PhD student Yanchao Mao have been working on the project for about a year,
The nanogenerator relies on an electrode integrated into a segment of the tire. When this part of the tire surface comes into contact with the ground, the friction between those two surfaces ultimately produces an electrical charge-a type of contact electrification known as the triboelectric effect.