Ambient Energy Harvesting for Sustainable Internet of Things (IoT) and Wearables
Energy Harvesting Research Group’s (EHRG)vision is to combine material focussed innovation with emerging technologies such as Wearables and the Internet of Things (IoT) to contribute positively to the big target of overcoming the ‘Energy trilemma’ and achieving ‘Energy Sustainability’. Energy Sustainability refers to a situation where coherent balance is obtained among the three components of clean, affordable and secure energy.
To realise EHRG’s research vision, our research is focused to develop multifunctional and scalable ambient energy harvesters capable of generating useful electricity to self-power these emerging technologies so that the sole reliance of these technologies on the batteries can be reduced.
Buildings are the largest consumers of primary energy, consuming around 40 % of total energy. Also, the building sector accounts for more than 40 % of global CO2 emission to the atmosphere. ‘Energy Harvesting Research Group’ develop novel materials and devices to ‘recycle’ light energy inside the buildings and use it to power the innumerable number of sensors in the ‘Internet of Things (IoT)- the key technology to smart, energy-secure buildings. In the field of Indoor Photovoltaics our research is focussed on different aspects: composition tuning to engineer the bandgap to maximise the indoor light harvesting, develop scalable fabrication method such as blade coating, understand the device physics of indoor photoltaics, interface engineering to suppress the recombination losses at the bulk and at the buried interfaces. Some recent discoveries related to indoor photovoltaics can be found here: Applied Surface Science 592, 152865;
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A 380 (2221), 20210144; Frontiers in Chemistry, 71, 2021
Mechanical Energy Harvesting
In EHRG we are focussing our research on developing low-temperature processable novel mechanical energy harvesters through piezoelectric and triboelectric effects. Conventional piezo harvesters are rigid, processed at high temperatures and are bulk. So we explore what are the possible novel material combinations with suitable mechanical energy harvesting properties such as d33 coefficient to generate enough electric power to self-power wireless sensors or low-powered electronic components.
Energy harvester/Energy Storage system
We are interested in developing a monolithic combined Energy harvester/energy storage system. The energy storage system we are particularly interested in is supercapacitors. Research collaborations, especially in the field of an energy storage system is warmly and highly invited.