Researchers at the University of Manchester reported that the flags used â€˜flexible piezoelectric strips and flexible photovoltaic cells.â€™
Photovoltaic refers to method of directly converting light from the sun into electricity, while piezoelectric strips enable the flag to generate power via movement. According to the study conducted by researchers, the flags were able to power remote sensors and small-scale portable electronics that can be used for tasks such as pollution, sound, and heat monitoring.
"Wind and solar energies typically have intermittencies that tend to compensate each other," said Andrea Cioncolini, a co-author of the study and senior lecturer in thermal hydraulics. "The sun does not usually shine during stormy conditions, whereas calm days with little wind are usually associated with shiny sun," he added, explaining that this made wind and solar "particularly well suited for simultaneous harvesting." The research was published in the journal Applied Energy in February 2019, which represents the novel way of producing energy.
In 2014, researchers in Canada designed a headset with a chinstrap manufactured from piezoelectric fiber composites that was able to harvest energy, as the jaw moved. Furthermore, in 2015, researchers in the U.K. announced the development of a wearable energy generator powered with urine. Moreover, the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol described how miniaturized microbial fuel cells (MFCs) had been â€˜embeddedâ€™ into a pair of socks. When a user walks, their urine is pumped, fueling the fuel cells and powering a wireless transmitter that sends a signal to a PC. The UWE said that MFCs contained bacteria that â€˜generate electricity from waste fluids.â€™
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