Image: The team, (from left) Anup Teejo Mathew, PhD student; Liu Chong, Research Engineer; and Nicholas Ng (FYP student) and their prototype.
Assistant Professor Adrian Koh and his team, Liu Chong (Research Engineer), Anup Teejo Mathew (PhD student) and Ng Tian Yao Nicholas (FYP student) has developed an autonomous energy harvester that is capable of capturing low frequency and sporadic motion, and convert them into usable energy. The energy harvesting prototype garnered the 3rd place for Best Demonstration at the EAP-in-Action at the SPIE Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) conference, held in Denver, Colorado, USA, from 4 to 8 March 2018.
The energy harvester consists of an active rubber that is highly stretchable, which absorbs mechanical motion, and converts it into electrical energy. This is called a stretchable generator. The stretchable generator taps priming power from a piezoelectric, and then amplifies it to power more than 50 LEDs. The team hopes that they can eventually develop this technology into a compact, high-energy energy harvester that would make harvesting power from human motions, vehicular traffic and ocean waves a reality.
SPIE EAPAD is a subsidiary of the SPIE Conference, that hosts the speciality of Electroactive Polymers (EAPs). It has been organized annually since 1999, with this year’s conference the 20th Edition. EAP-in-Action has usually been the highlight of the conference, whereby an International mix of demonstrators bring their products, technologies and prototypes to showcase electroactive polymers at the forefront of this technology. Each year, between 16 and 20 international teams are selected to present at the conference, out of an initial submission of more than 100. Three teams are then selected by a panel of distinguished judges as the top three teams. The NUS team is proud to fly the NUS flag by garnering 3rd in this year’s EAP-in-Action, out of a strong international representation from USA, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and China. The team hope to raise further awareness of their energy harvesting technology, and bring it to even greater heights.