As the world population increases and technology becomes accessible to more people, there is an increased demand for energy. Researchers are seeking innovative forms of harvesting sustainable energy with minimal environmental impact. The triboelectric effect is a form of contact electrification in which a charge is generated after two materials are separated. In 2012, the triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) emerged as a new flexible power source which can extract energy from small ambient movements. In this study, we use a software tool known as COMSOL to conduct Finite Element Analysis of Triboelectric Generators (TEGs). One aspect we study is the enhancement of TEG efficiency by the inclusion of high dielectric constant (high-k) materials. We show that the orientation of inclusions matter: high-k dielectric inclusions with a vertical orientation display greater overall TEG performance in comparison to those with a horizontal alignment. A design where a piezoelectric material is included in the triboelectric polymer is also explored. Although our preliminary results show that piezo inclusions modify the response of TEGs, more work is needed before we find with an optimal design.
Barbosa, Giovanni, "Computational Study of Triboelectric Generator Design" (2020). Honors Projects Overview. 171.
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