Energy resources are depleting at a higher rate than ever before, and it calls for researchers rethinking about innovative power generation methods for the future.

Fremont, CA: The world population is rising exponentially, with the numbers already hitting 7 Billion. It puts a lot of pressure on the energy resources, which are already on the verge of depletion. There is no miracle to stop these resources from becoming extinct with the continuous rise in the global human population. Researchers are working on various technologies to make power more accessible, efficient, and environmentally safe.

Here’s a look at some energy technologies that could possibly help in future power generation:

Flexible Generators

TEGs are inorganic semiconductor-based solid-state devices that convert heat to electricity without the use of mechanical parts. Polymers, on the other hand, are appealing materials because of their flexibility and low thermal conductivity. These characteristics enable smart designs for high-performance electronics that can function without active cooling, lowering production costs considerably.

Recycling radio waves

Researchers have invented a radio frequency (RF) energy harvester that can gather enough ambient energy to power devices for the Internet of Things (IoT), smart skin and smart city sensors, and wearable electronics. Radio wave harvesting isn't a new concept, but past attempts were confined to short-range systems positioned within meters of the energy source.

Pulp Energy

While fossil-fuel emissions are the most visible cause of global warming, there is rising worry about the environmental impact of discarded gadgets. Organic solar cells, organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), and organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) are being developed by certain researchers on cellulose-based substrates that can be easily recycled.

Monolithic Microscale Heat Pumps

Researchers have invented a unique textbook-sized cooling system that runs on waste heat rather than power, proving that good things come in little packages. This is accomplished by etching incredibly microscopic passageways onto thin metal sheets, with different sections representing different components. Working fluids flow in the same sequence as in a larger system but in a smaller region. Plumbing inlets and outlets are minimized, resulting in greater compactness - and reduced prices.

Picking up vibrations

Researchers are progressing with piezoelectric energy, which converts mechanical strain from ambient vibrations into electricity, in another energy harvesting strategy. Scientists have been researching this topic for more than a decade, but because piezoelectric harvesting is so cased and application specific, methods have yet to be extensively marketed. Current piezoelectric energy harvesters are based on linear resonance behavior, and the excitation frequency of ambient sources must match the harvester's resonance frequency in order to optimize electrical power.