A research team from the University of Oulu in Finland has discovered that a specific type of crystalline mineral has the potential to harvest energy from multiple sources at the same time. Whereas currently to extract energy from heat, light or pressure requires materials specific to that form of energy, this highly versatile material has demonstrated the ability in experiments to provide energy from multiple source at room temperature. It is called KBNNO and comes from the Perovskite family of minerals.
Many forms of energy surrounds us every day and most of it is not used. The movements of the human body, ambient sunlight and the heat in a room are all energy sources that could potentially power wearable and portable gadgets, ranging from smart watches to biometric sensors.
Researchers are currently building a device to take advantage of this new energy-harvesting property, which could go to the market in the next year. One hope is that this new technology could offer a way beyond battery-powered devices and significantly contribute to the building of smart cities and connections to the Internet of Things.
This signal was also spotted by Marta Melvin.
"In a development that could push the internet of things and smart cities, a research team from University of Oulu in Finland working with perovskite minerals, have discovered KBNNO, a ferroelectric material, filled with tiny electric dipoles analogous to tiny compass needles in a magnet. These enable to harness energy from multiple sources. The mineral will not be efficient enough to power anything as large as a home the way perovskite solar cells could, it could be used in electronic devices like phones and laptops, and the various 'smart' gadgets that will soon be filling our homes and city streets."