Road transportation, as an important requirement of modern society, is presently hindered by restrictions in emission legislations as well as the availability of petroleum fuels, and as a consequence, the fuel cost. Wasted heat is one of the most abundant and widely available energy sources in our living environment and industrial activities. When the tires move across the surface, be it roads, they produce a small electric current known as the triboelectric effect. The friction between the tire and the ground consumes about 10 percent of a vehicle's fuel. That energy is wasted.
Our idea is to develop such sensor which converts the heat energy losses in the tires to usable form of energy, may be any form here specifically electrical energy. The sensor will be designed and developed keeping in mind all the parameters, primarily the magnitude of pressure generated in tires when a vehicle is moving and the amount of energy that is being generated. The conversion of energy will also serve the purpose of increasing the fuel efficiency of automobile engine.
The energy is to be developed from contact of two dissimilar materials i.e. the road (asphalt) and vehicle’s tires (rubber).The surface of one material will generally steal some electrons from the surface of the other material. This makes one of the materials either positively or negatively charged. By transferring this charge through a circuit we can generate electricity. The movement of electrons due to friction isn’t spectacular, but it could be enough to generate some extra leverage.
The sensor developed is to be stuck on the outer surface of the tires itself to collect maximum heat energy. To protect the sensor from vehicular pressure, it will be packed by materials such as epoxy using the concept of acoustic impedance matching. The output energy collected is electrical as any form of energy can be transformed from it.
The potential applications are certainly promising for electric cars, but can also provide automobile manufacturers a new way to improve efficiency for their vehicles. Electric cars are the future. There will, inevitably, be a time in which fossil fuels are too expensive and precious to waste on grocery store runs.
The idea, in simple words, aims at using indomitable and non-avoidable wasted portion of energy in innovative way to increase the “Time Left” for the depletion of non-renewable resources of energy, which in this case is petrol and diesel.
ABOUT THE ENTRANT
Name: Nitish Mody
Type of entry: team
Patent status: none