Low-cost pedestrian-powered energy harvesting flooring triboelectric generator
This paper presents a design and fabrication of a low-cost flooring device that harvests electrical energy. The device uses a triboelectric vertical contact separation (VCS) mechanism. The prototype consists of three 120 mm x 120 mm dielectric materials chosen with opposite charge affinity in the triboelectric series. A rectangular kiln-dried pine wood (palotsina) plyboard was used as a stepping board. The assembly is separated by an air gap of 10 mm in height using a compression spring supported by a center dowel. The upper dielectrics are polyvinyl chloride (PVC) with cellulose-based plastic acetate, and the lower dielectric is a composite mica sheet. A 0.5 mm thick copper tape is attached to the upper and lower dielectric, which serves as an electrode. The test was performed using a digital oscilloscope connected to the load resistor of the device. The experiment showed that the prototype could generate 152 V measured through a 10 MΩ load resistor. The output voltage is proportional to the body weight stepping on the device. Also, stepping on nine different location points of the flooring device showed the center point yielded the highest output.