Design of Energy Harvestor Based on Piezo-shape Memory Alloy Composites
Introduction Shape memory alloy (SMA) materials act as an energy harvestor in locations where temperature fluctuates between high and low readings (e.g. 0C – 150C for TiNi SMA). Stress change in the piezo-phase generates a voltage change and electrical power. Technology description Researchers at the University of Washington have developed applications for SMA materials, such as TiNi, to effectively harvest electrical power by converting stresses in SMA materials induced by temperature changes into a voltage change. For example, a piezo-shape memory alloy composite located in the exhaust line of an engine is subject to radical changes in temperature. Those changes in temperature cause stress in the composite alloy, which in turn can be converted into an electrical signal; thus, harvesting the thermal energy of the exhaust system. Business opportunity The use of SMA materials in areas of high temperature fluctuation for harvesting thermal energy is potentially highly useful and profitable. The smart materials market has been projected to reach over $12 Billion by 2010. Stage of development Concept Intellectual property position The technology is available for licensing. The UW is currently reviewing this technology for worldwide patent protection.
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