Pyroelectric nanogenerators produce electricity from temperature fluctuations

We all know that energy cannot be created but can only be transformed from one form to another and this transformation is the base behind renewable energy generation. While for most of us renewable energy only means transforming kinetic energy of the wind or sunshine into electricity, researchers over the globe try to come up with innovative generators that can produce electricity from everything including your movement and even your breath.

Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have come up with a device that uses polarization changes to harvest heat energy from temperature fluctuations. As you can imagine, the produced electricity won’t be enough for your tablet computer, but with lead zirconate titanate (PZT), the team was able to produce a device that can charge a Li-ion coin battery to power an LED for a few seconds. The research team is confident that with more surface area they could eventually be able to drive wireless sensors or LCDs using only environmental temperature fluctuations.

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