Here we have an innovative proposal to use tyres to produce electricity to all round green and financial effect here.
A new technology that could see tyres generate electricity whilst driving is being developed by engineers in Japan. Falken Tyres’s parent company, Sumitomo Rubber Industries, working with Professor Hiroshi Tani of Kansai University, have developed the Energy Harvester tyre in the image.
The Energy Harvester tyre takes advantage of the build up of static electricity, known as frictional charging, to produce power efficiently as the tyre turns.
Inside the Energy Harvester tyre are two layers of rubber, each covered in an electrode, along with a negatively charged film that interfaces with a positively charged film. When fixed to the inside of a conventional tyre carcass it generates electricity as the tyre revolves.
Engineers believe the Energy Harvester could lead to practical applications such as a power source for sensors used in TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems) but there’s a lot more opportunities, surely, for other automotive devices without the need for batteries.
This concept was created as part of Sumitomo’s R&D programme to develop technologies that target improvements in safety and environmental performance. Now, the research has been selected by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (a national research and development agency) as a Type FS Seed Project under A-STEP (Adaptable and Seamless Technology Transfer Program through Target-Driven R&D). Sumitomo Rubber Industries will now advance this research with support from the Japan Science and Technology Agency.
NB: A FS Seed Project is a programme supporting research and development projects undertaken jointly by academia and enterprise in order to perform feasibility and application studies based on the results of academic research with the ultimate aim of producing new core technologies.
Well done to Falken and Sumitomo here. We love technology especially when it’s being used to do new things more efficiently.