Researchers from IIT Mandi Introduce Technique for Generating Electricity by Walking On Roads

IIT Mandi has announced that a team of its researchers has come up with a technique of building roads with Piezoelectric Materials, which will generate electricity on simple human walking.

The researchers have been studying and finding piezoelectric materials that can convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. After the research, they have proposed the idea of using these piezoelectric materials in floor tiles to build the roads, which will generate electricity on human walking. Also, the weight from vehicles can power up the road lights and traffic signals.

Dr. Rajeev Kumar, Associate Professor, IIT Mandi, explains, “Piezoelectric materials can generate electrical energy when a force is applied on them, and are thus extremely useful.” Electricity production by these materials is limited in use and their applications yet.

“We have developed a technique known as “graded poling” to enhance the power output of piezoelectric materials by more than 100 times”, says Dr. Rahul Vaish, Associate Professor, IIT Mandi. However, Dr. Rajeev Kumar says, “The experimental implementation of graded poling is challenging at present.”

According to the researchers, Piezoelectric materials can do the reverse as well – generate mechanical motion in response to electrical energy. Moreover, they are extending their work further for a more accurate prediction of the effects of the proposed ‘poling technique’ on the mechanical properties of the material, which will give better insights into providing the services of this technique in real-life applications.

The results of their work have been published in the journal Engineering Reports.

Recently, IIT Kanpur has announced the establishment of its ‘Department of Sustainable Energy Engineering’ with an aim of becoming a vital contributor to the nation’s growing clean and renewable energy sector by generating high-quality scientific and technological know-how and human resources. The new department envisions to engage in cutting-edge research in frontier and futuristic areas related to energy sustainability with a clear focus on new, renewable and alternate energy technologies.

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