In 2009, I wrote an article about the top 10 green cell phones manufactured or conceptualized that year. Included in that list was a concept phone called Zeri which can “convert air vibrations into usable power through hair-thin generators on piezoelectric system.”
Well, this year, the idea of a cell phone powered by air or sound vibrations has just advanced one step closer into mainstream consumer use. Researchers at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, South Korea recently announced that they have developed the technology to make this futuristic concept possible.
The initial test unit consists of wires made of zinc oxide that are placed between electrodes. Electricity is generated when a sound pad on top vibrates after the zinc oxide strands compress and release as they are hit by sound waves.
The prototype is able to successfully generate about 50 millivolts of electricity by converting sound waves at high decibel levels like loud traffic. The Sungkyunkwan University scientists are optimistic that they can generate more energy from lower sound levels in future test models by changing some materials in the prototype unit.
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via The Telegraph