ZL Wang develops innovative noncontact free-rotating disk nanogenerator
Professor Wang introduced an innovative noncontact, free-rotating disk triboelectric nanogenerator (FRD-TENG) for sustainably scavenging the mechanical energy from rotary motions. Its working principle was clarified through numerical calculations of the relative-rotation-induced potential difference, which serves as the driving force for the electricity generation. The unique characteristic of the FRD-TENG enables its high output performance compared to its working at the contact mode, with an effective output power density of 1.22 W/m2 for continuously driving 100 light-emitting diodes. Ultrahigh stability of the output and exceptional durability of the device structure were achieved, and the reliable output was utilized for fast/effective charging of a lithium ion battery. Based on the relationship between its output performance and the parameters of the mechanical stimuli, the FRD-TENG could be employed as a self-powered mechanical sensor, for simultaneously detecting the vertical displacement and rotation speed. The FRD-TENG has superior advantages over the existing disk triboelectric nanogenerator, and exhibits significant progress toward practical applications of nanogenerators for both energy harvesting and self-powered sensor networks.