New ways to scavenge vibrational energy

Readers may recall an LED flashlight novelty item that gets its power from an inductive coil and magnet. Shake the flashlight a few times and you get enough power from the magnet and coil to power the LED for awhile. Now this idea is going mainstream, albeit with a more sophisticated energy harvesting scheme.

MicroGen Systems LLC, of Ithaca and Cornell University's Energy Materials Center say they are going to develop "self-charging" batteries – that use background shaking and stirring for their energy source.The battery will look like a microchip, but with a vibrating core, and it will harness energy from almost anything that shakes.

Robert Andosca, founder and president of MicroGen said: "Overcoming the battery bottleneck is key. Providing a green, virtually infinite power source to replace traditional energy sources will significantly expand applications for wireless sensor networks and other technologies. Our micro-generator technology will enable the wireless sensor network

No timetable was given for when to expect the effort will result in hardware.

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