A universal self-charging system driven by random biomechanical energy for sustainable operation of mobile electronics

Nat Commun. 2015 Dec 11;6:8975. doi: 10.1038/ncomms9975.


Human biomechanical energy is characterized by fluctuating amplitudes and variable low frequency, and an effective utilization of such energy cannot be achieved by classical energy-harvesting technologies. Here we report a high-efficient self-charging power system for sustainable operation of mobile electronics exploiting exclusively human biomechanical energy, which consists of a high-output triboelectric nanogenerator, a power management circuit to convert the random a.c. energy to d.c. electricity at 60% efficiency, and an energy storage device. With palm tapping as the only energy source, this power unit provides a continuous d.c. electricity of 1.044 mW (7.34 W m(-3)) in a regulated and managed manner. This self-charging unit can be universally applied as a standard 'infinite-lifetime' power source for continuously driving numerous conventional electronics, such as thermometers, electrocardiograph system, pedometers, wearable watches, scientific calculators and wireless radio-frequency communication system, which indicates the immediate and broad applications in personal sensor systems and internet of things.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Electric Power Supplies*
  • Electromagnetic Phenomena
  • Humans
  • Materials Testing*
  • Nanotechnology
  • Running
  • Walking