A look inside the self-charging cell
Imagine one day connecting your cellphone to a wearable battery that recharges from your movement. That might not be so far in the future as you think as researchers at Georgia Tech have come up with a method that even recharged a lithium-ion coin-sized battery placed inside the sole of a shoe
. How does this all work? Thanks for asking. The usual dividers between electrodes have been replaced with a polyvinylidene difluoride film that uses piezoelectrics to recharge the battery by adding pressure to that small gap. This all works without any outside voltage being added to the mix which means that your own movement creates the pressure required to recharge the cell. The researchers came up with the battery inside the shoe test to prove how the pressure of each footstep on the shoe was able to power up the battery.
The battery is not yet close to be mass-produced and the researchers need to raise the power of the battery by figuring out how to apply more pressure to the cell using more squeezable piezoelectrics. Let's hope with the Yellow Jackets football season almost upon us, that the guys in the lab keep their eyes on the prize and work on perfecting this instead of getting distracted by what's happening on the gridiron.