Human Interactive Triboelectric Nanogenerator as a Self-Powered Smart Seat

A lightweight, flexible, cost-effective, and robust, single-electrode-based Smart Seat–Triboelectric Nanogenerator (SS-TENG) is introduced as a promising eco-friendly approach for harvesting energy from the living environment, for use in integrated self-powered systems. An effective method for harvesting biomechanical energy from human motion such as walking, running, and sitting, utilizing widely adaptable everyday contact materials (newspaper, denim, polyethylene covers, and bus cards) is demonstrated. The working mechanism of the SS-TENG is based on the generation and transfer of triboelectric charge carriers between the active layer and user-friendly contact materials. The performance of SS-TENG (52 V and 5.2 μA for a multiunit SS-TENG) is systematically studied and demonstrated in a range of applications including a self-powered passenger seat number indicator and a STOP-indicator using LEDs, using a simple logical circuit. Harvested energy is used as a direct power source to drive 60 blue and green commercially available LEDs and a monochrome LCD. This feasibility study confirms that triboelectric nanogenerators are a suitable technology for energy harvesting from human motion during transportation, which could be used to operate a variety of wireless devices, GPS systems, electronic devices, and other sensors during travel.