Monday, September 12th, 2011 | Author:

Piezoelectricity is the charge which accumulates in certain solid materials (notably crystals, certain ceramics, and biological matter such as bone, DNA and various proteins) in response to applied mechanical stress. Simply put it is energy that is released from certain substances when they are put under pressure. One of the most common uses of piezoelectricity in consumer products is the electric cigarette lighter. The electric cigarette lighter contains a piezoelectric crystal.

On the small scale piezoelectricity already has a minimal effect in reducing our reliance on manufactured electricity. Items like loudspeakers, inkjet printers, buzzers, and x-ray machines use piezoelectricity in the place of normal electricity to complete small tasks. But can the principles of piezoelectricity be used for something more substantial? Here are what some companies and places are trying to do:

  • An assemblyman in California has proposed installing a piezoelectric system under the state’s highway.
  • Innowattech is developing a form of piezoelectric generator that can be placed under roadways, railways, runways and pedestrian walkways. The energy generated can then be used for local power needs or routed into the grid.
  • The city of Toulouse, France uses power generating tiles in the sidewalk to power streetlights.
  • Soon simply walking could generate enough energy to power your cell phone
Category: General
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6 Responses

  1. Interesting: the simple act of movement could one day be used to charge your mobile phone. I wonder if running would speed up the process…
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  2. They have had a simular thing in watches for ages, im supprised they have not tried to install one in a mobile phone. Even it is just to extend the battery life.

  3. 3
    Cynthia J 
    October 22, 2011

    Hopefully Piezoelectricity is going to create more energy for the world than any other renewable resource.
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  4. Piezoelectricity is a great idea that could help us all make the world greener. I hope this will be used by more governments, companies, and other organizations.
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  5. I think this is very interesting topic. Piezoelectricity is a great idea that could help us all make the world greener. Thank you for the info that you share.

  6. Piezoelectricity is a great breakthrough in converting energy from one form to another. Still more R&D needs to happen to make it a more viable form of energy.
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