Tokyo – Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) has developed a technology that generates electric power from tire rotation, thereby supplying energy to peripheral tire sensors.
Developed in collaboration with professor Hiroshi Tani of Kansai University, the ‘tire internal power generation technology’ adds a power charging function to the ‘energy harvester’ on the inside of the tire, said SRI’s European affiliate Falken Tyre Europe in a statement 18 March.
Static electricity generated during tire rotation is harnessed and used to charge a power control circuit, which in turn activates and supplies power to an external sensor.
The project partners have also optimised the structures and materials involved in harvesting frictional energy in order to improve the generated output, Falken Tyre said.
SRI’s verification testing has shown that when a tire is running at 50km/h, the system produces over 800W of power, enough to activate an external sensor without the use of batteries and achieve continuous Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) transmission.
“To date, the limited battery life of sensor devices has been one of the greatest obstacles to making tire sensing technology a reality,” said Dr Bernd Löwenhaupt, managing director, Sumitomo Rubber Europe GmbH.
“This development is therefore important for SRI’s overarching sensing core technology, which holds enormous potential for future applications such as autonomous vehicles.”
According to Falken, the technology marks “a major leap” towards achieving SRI’s sensing core technology applications, to support the Japanese group's future mobility ambitions and its smart tire concept.
The concept aims to develop tires and peripheral services to meet the demands of CASE (connected, autonomous, shared, electric), MaaS (mobility as a service) and other new mobility trends.