HomeProjectsSustainable Development and Green TechnologiesWater-tube-based Triboelectric Nanogenerator (WT-TENG)

Water-tube-based Triboelectric Nanogenerator (WT-TENG)

Project Quick Facts

Principal Investigator

  • Prof. ZI Yun Long

    Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering

  • Funding

    Research Grants Council,
    Innovation and Technology Commission,
    Shun Hing Institute of Advanced Engineering of CUHK,
    Department of Science and Technology of Guangdong Province

  • Collaboration

    City University of Hong Kong

This project developed a water-tube-based TENG (WT-TENG) to convert ocean wave energy into electricity efficiently. Water is encapsulated in a tube of 6 cm long with a diameter of 1 to 2 cm. When waves hit and water moves in the tube between regions of the two electrodes, triboelectrification happens and electric currents can be generated.

Taking advantage of the flexibility of water, the WT-TENG can be operated in various modes. Moreover, WT-TENG addresses the problem of low electric charge density of conventional triboelectric nanogenerators (TENG) which is often based on solid/solid contact. Due to the high contact intimacy of water and the tube surface, the output volumetric charge density of the WT-TENG is significantly enhanced, reaching 9 mC/m3 at a frequency as low as 0.25 Hz, which is the highest recorded among all the existing TENGs for low-frequency energy harvesting.

This project places a box with 34 WT-TENG units in the sea to collect ocean wave energy. The peak power generation is enough to drive 150 LED light bulbs.
1 unit of WT-TENG can reach the highest electric voltage of 100 to 150V, while a dry cell only holds 1.5V.

Uniqueness and Competitive Advantages:

  • Low cost
  • Can generate electricity at a low-frequency mechanical motion when operated under rotational mode
  • Can be formed into different combinations of units according to the needed output charge
  • Reaches the highest volumetric output charge density among all the existing TENGs for low-frequency energy harvesting (9 mC/m3)
Multiple small WT-TENG units can be easily combined and integrated as one larger unit and realise multiplied electric outputs.
This project discovered that by filling half of the tube with water, the output charge is the highest, as was the output voltage after multiple experiments.

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