This battery-free generator is about to set a new standard in green energy.
The idea of a battery-free generator is not a new concept. But the idea of creating one out of discarded fish scales is.
Physics World has recently reported that physicists in India have succeeded in creating a battery-free generator that runs off the collagen in fish scales. The collagen is a piezoelectric material, which means that it is able to generate an electric charge when put under some type of “mechanical stress.”
Piezoelectric materials could be extremely useful for medical devices like pacemakers and insulin pumps. However, in order to really push the envelope with these types of devices, there is a need for new, environmentally friendly piezoelectric materials. Dipankar Mandal, a physicist at Jadavpur University in Koltata, India, says it is “simply because most of the traditional piezoelectric materials contain toxic elements, such as lead and bismuth.”
The fish scale alternative allows physicists to begin to move away from traditional battery-powered technology into other ways of generating power.
The clear, flexible generator harvests energy from small movements, like body motion, sound, vibrations, and even wind flow.
It then takes that energy and converts it into electrical power. Mandal and his team were able to use repeated hand slaps to power 77 green and blue LED lights with just four small fish scale generators.
The team is both enthusiastic and optimistic about this research. The researchers envision the fish scale generators being useful for devices like medical implants, drug delivery, healthcare monitoring, surgery, and other small gadgets.
While these fish scale generators are currently being pushed only in the direction of smaller devices and mechanical enhancements, there’s reason to expect more of this technology in more applications in the future.