The possibilities are endless for the future of piezo technology. Just last month, NASA announced a collaboration with Georgia Tech Research Institute to build a 40,000 square foot outdoor footpath using piezoelectricity. This project is to show the public how this new and innovative technology could lead us to having self-powered cities. This will be demonstrated at the NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Visitor Complex.
How does this project help us to understand the value of piezoelectricity?
One of the unique characteristics of the piezoelectric effect is that when stress is placed on a piezoelectric material, they will generate an electric charge. This effect is also reversible, meaning that this material will generate mechanical stress when an electric charge is applied to it.
The footpath will operate on solar panels, piezoelectricity, and a small rechargeable lithium battery storing energy. When a visitor steps on the tile, the piezoelectric element will create energy which will light up the LEDs on the footpath. The energy will also be used to power Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for it’s visitors.
How much energy does each step generate?
Each step only generates a tiny amount of energy, but imagine if this technology was utilized for heavily populated cities like San Francisco and New York. The whole city could potentially operate using the energy produced by piezoelectricity.
I believe this technology is the future for modern energy companies. Being able to harness solar energy while utilizing the energy from piezo materials will allow us to have a sustainable energy source in the future. It’s time we start turning over to renewable energy sources in order to prevent our planet from unbalancing our “Carbon Budget” to the point of no return.
As our knowledge of this amazing material grows, so will the applications of piezo technology.
What PiezoDirect does
If you are in the market for piezo ceramic products, then look no further. PiezoDirect provides both custom and turnkey piezo components and assemblies. We can make even the most complex piezoelectric components and assemblies to your exact requirements.
Written by Felix Lau