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Triboelectric Nanogenerators Scavenging Wind Energy by Triboelectric Nanogenerators
Bo Chen, Ya Yang,* and Zhong Lin Wang*
To meet future needs for clean and sustainable energy, tremendous progress has been achieved in development for scavenging wind energy. The most classical approach is to use the electromagnetic effect based wind turbine with a diameter of larger than 50 m and a weight of larger than 50 ton, and each of them could cost more than $0.5 M, which can only be installed in remote areas. Alternatively, triboelectric nanogenerators based on coupling
of contact-electrification and electrostatic induction effects have been utilized to scavenge wind energy, which takes the advantages of high voltage, low cost, and small size. Here, the development of a wind-driven triboelectric nanogenerator by focusing on triboelectric materials optimization, structure improvement, and hybridization with other types of energy harvesting tech- niques is reviewed. Moreover, the major applications are summarized and the challenges that are needed to be addressed and development direction for scavenging wind energy in future are highlighted.
1. Introduction
In view of concerns about global climate change and energy crisis, developing new energy sources which are renewable and environment friendly is one of the most urgent challenges to the development of human society.[1–4] Harvesting energy directly from surrounding environment can be a promising and effec- tive solution to achieve the sustainability of our daily life.[5–8] Wind energy, a clean and widespread type of mechanical energy, has attracted more and more attention and may play a significant role in electricity supply in future.[9–11] Roughly 4.3% of globally electricity demand was realized by wind power tech- nologies as of the end of 2015.[12] However, as constrained by the extra-large size, high cost of installation, and geographical environment, wind power equipment can hardly be utilized in our daily living environment, such as in urban city areas.[13–15] In this regard, it is essential to develop innovative strategies
Dr. B. Chen, Prof. Y. Yang, Prof. Z. L. Wang
Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Beijing 100083, China
E-mail:; Dr. B. Chen, Prof. Y. Yang, Prof. Z. L. Wang
CAS Center for Excellence in Nanoscience
National Center for Nanoscience and Technology (NCNST) Beijing 100190, China
Prof. Z. L. Wang
School of Materials Science and Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, GA 30332-0245, USA
DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201702649
and technologies to collect wind energy in living environment. Since the invention of triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) in 2012, it was extensively investigated and showed lots of advantages including small scale, low cost, easy fabrication, and port- ability.[16–22] Plenty of wasted mechanical energy in our daily life, such as vibration, human motion, wind, flowing water, and rotating tire, can be utilized by different TENG structures.[23–27] The wind-driven triboelectric nanogenerator (WD-TENG), which is considered as an important tribu- tary in TENG family, can also serve as self- powered sensors for actively monitoring wind speed, humidity, as well as breath- out alcohol concentration.[28–30] Figure 1 illustrates the comparison between the conventional wind energy harvester (wind turbine) and the new wind energy har-
vester (WD-TENG) in terms of the mechanism, characteristics, as well as disadvantages.
Herein, this article first reviews typical triboelectric mate- rials and structures for fabricating WD-TENG, which can sig- nificantly affect the output performance of WD-TENG. The out- standing output voltage and current of various WD-TENG can reach as high as 400 V (with a size of 22 × 10 × 67 mm3) and 3.4 mA (with a radius of 70 mm), respectively.[31,32] The output voltage and current can be adjusted through transformer and a power management circuit to satisfy different electrical equip- ment’s demands. Hybridizing WD-TENG and other types of generators is more suitable to meet needs of varying environ- ments.[33–35] Moreover, the remarkable electrical performance endows WD-TENG lots of practical applications including pow- ering electrical equipment, charging energy storage devices, as well as serving as self-powered sensors. As a new generation of sustainable, renewable, and green energy source, WD-TENG is expected to be widely used in human daily life in near future.
2. Fundamental Working Modes and Triboelectric Materials
Triboelectrification, also known as contact electrification, is a common phenomenon in people’s life.[36,37] It has been identi- fied as a negative effect in some situations, like causing fire and dust explosion, whereas this effect exists almost everywhere. A promising strategy to utilize rather than reduce triboelectrifica- tion is to convert and stockpile it into other forms of energy. Despite triboelectrification could be generated by almost any material in daily life, it is still a serious challenge to collect and convert this tiny energy into available power. Recently, TENG,
Adv. Energy Mater. 2017, 1702649
1702649 (1 of 13) © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

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