Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Disney's Paper Generators - A New Energy Source

Disney Research is coming out with the idea of Paper Generators which essentially pieces of paper that you touch, rub, or slide to generate enough power to power small gadgets like LEDs, small motor, etc.

Paper Generators are based on electrets: materials that hold quasi-permanent electric charge, like quartz, silicon dioxide, polymers, etc. Disney Research is using PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) sheets, like the commonly known brand "Teflon". When the PTFE sheet is rubbed with ordinary paper, negative charge will be built up on the surface of PTFE (Figure a).

When the PTFE sheet is stacked between conductive layers, such as silver coated polyester sheets or paper with printed conductive ink, the PTFE attracts free positive charges to build up on the surface of the conductors (Figure b). This forms the basis structure of Paper Generators.

Energy is created when a user moves the conductors. As the relative positions of the conductors change, the distribution of the induced charges, the electric field, and the total capacitance between the conductors change, resulting in an electric potential difference between the conductors (Figure c). Hence, voltage and current will be generated.

When connecting path (copper wire) and load (LEDs) are connected to the Paper Generators, then energy will be transferred from the Paper Generators to the load and be energized.

For more info, please visit http://www.disneyresearch.com/project/paper-generators/

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