Omnidirectional Triboelectric Nanogenerator Operated by Weak Wind Towards a Self-Powered Anemoscope

Micromachines (Basel). 2020 Apr 14;11(4):414. doi: 10.3390/mi11040414.


Wind is a great sustainable energy source for harvesting due to its abundant characteristic. Typically, large space, loud noise, and heavy equipment are essential for a general wind power plant and it is solely operated by big-scale wind. However, wind energy can be efficiently harvested by utilizing the triboelectric nanogenerator due to its abundance, ubiquity, and environmentally friendliness. Furthermore, a few previously reported wind-driven triboelectric nanogenerators, which have the bulk fluttering layer by wind, still show difficulty in generating electricity under the conditions of weak wind because of the static friction arisen from the inherent structure. In this case, the output performance is deteriorated as well as the generator cannot operate completely. In this work, a wind-driven triboelectric nanogenerator (wind-TENG) based on the fluttering of the PTFE strips is proposed to solve the aforementioned problems. At the minimum operating wind pressure of 0.05 MPa, this wind-driven TENG delivers the open-circuit voltage of 3.5 V, short-circuit current of 300 nA, and the associated output power density of 0.64 mW/m2 at the external load resistance of 5 MΩ. Such conditions can be used to light up seven LEDs. Moreover, this wind-TENG has been utilized as a direction sensor which can sense the direction at which the wind is applied. This work thus provides the potential application of the wind-TENG as both self-driven electronics and a self-powered sensor system for detecting the direction under environmental wind.

Keywords: directionality; polytetrafluoroethylene; sensor; strip; triboelectric nanogenerator; wind.