Production of electricity from Rainwater and the shoe with the piezoelectric effect

In 1756, physicist Germany, Franz Aepinus, found a strange phenomenon of a material when heated or cooled can produce voltage. A material that is a Tourmaline (Tourmaline) that comes from East Africa, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The strange phenomenon called pyroelectric (Pyroelectric). Charles-Augustin de Coulomb assumed that electricity can be generated by providing pressure on the material. Then, René-Just Hauy and Antoine Cesar Becquerel tried to prove the assumption Coulomb which ended in failure. In 1880, Pierre Curie and Jacques Curie proved that assumption right Coulomb. Material Tourmaline, quartz and salt the submarines can generate electricity when given pressure. Then, the phenomena called piezoelectricity or piezoelectric effect is well known. One year later, Gabriel Lippman stated effect the opposite of the piezoelectric (the reverse piezoelectric effect) when material is electrified will result in changes to the dimension and generate pressure.

The piezoelectric material in there is heaps of positive and negative charges even though the arrangement of the Crystal is not symmetrical. The working principle of piezoelectric material is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. The working principle of piezoelectric material[1]

At the time of normal state (before was pressed), the charge on the piezoelectric material balance. When pressure is applied the charge shift occurs where the negative charge will go to the anode and the positive charge will go to the cathode to produce utility voltage. The reverse piezoelectric effect piezoelectric materials is when an electrical current so that changes dimension and generate pressure. The working principle of the reverse piezoelectric effect is shown in Figure 2.


Figure 2. The working principle of the reverse piezoelectric effect [2]

The material piezolektrik is divided into two, namely natural and synthetic. A piezoelectric material is natural Quartz (SiO2), Berlinite (AlPO4), Tourmaline and salt Rossel. While the Barium Titanate (BaTiO3), lead Zirconium Titanate (PZT) and lead Titanate (PBTiO3) is a piezoelectric material which made ceramics. PZT material is the material most widely used but because of the lead element in the material PZT which are toxins, encourage developing new materials that are safer for humans and the environment. Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVdF) is a piezoelectric material made from polymer. The material has high piezoelectric constants (range piezoelectric constant of value 1 – 100 pico Coulomb/Newton), resistant to high pressures because of kelenturannya so easily molded fit the size and shape, more secure as well as light weight because it’s kind of low.

Application of piezoelectric material that is already widely used as a transducer, one of which is used in the device’s microphone to change the sound energy into electrical energy. Piezoelectric materials are potentially huge as any producer of electricity from the events of the fall of rain water. Indonesia is a tropical country which has high rainfall about 2,000 – 3,000 mm/year[3]. However rainfall conditions in each region is different. Rain is the fall of hidrometeor in the form of water particles in diameter 0.5 mm or more. Rain water can be measured based on the volume of runoff per unit area. If a 1 mm rainfall then size it is equivalent to 1 liter/m2. The process of the fall of raindrops produces potential energy that can press the piezoelectric material to produce electricity. The video below is an experimental utilization of rain water into electricity using Piezoelectric materials.

In addition, scientists have made a breakthrough with the new exploit piezoelectric materials in the shoe. Devices that were in the shoes of the piezoelectric transducer is, circuits and batteries. When walking or running, feet pressing the piezoelectric material that will generate electricity. Then, the electricity is stored in batteries that can be used to recharge the battery of mobile phone or other gadgets. Utilization of piezoelectric materials in the shoe and other innovations shown in Figure 3.


Figure 3. Utilization of piezoelectric materials in the shoe and other innovations[4]

Baca juga:

[1] Sukariono, Joko. 2015. Smart Piezoelectric Materials. State University Of Surabaya

[2] Or, Siu Wing. Overview Of Smart Materials Technology. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. (accessed November 20, 2017)

[3] S Nasrul, Sri Maulidani, Ihsan, and Sulistiawaty. 2015. Analysis of the pattern and intensity of Rainfall based on Observation and satellite Data Tropical rain shower Measuring Missions (TRMM) 3B42 V7 in Makassar. State University Of Makassar

[4] Aggarwal, Mayank. 2015. Piezoelectricity: Press to Power. (accessed November 20, 2017)

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