Internet of Things (IoT) success is dependent on tiny communication devices and instead of powering those machines by fossil fuels, they can be run on wind or solar energy, say scientists.
Researchers now have a new solution in the form of a single device that harvests wind and solar energy to power the extensive network of tiny communications devices.
Ya Yang, Zhong Lin Wang and colleagues integrated two energy harvesting technologies in one -- a silicon solar cell and a nanogenerator that can convert wind energy into electrical output.
The solar cell component of the system delivers eight milliWatts of power output (one milliWatt can light up 100 small LEDs). The wind harvesting component delivers up to 26 milliWatts.
Together, under simulated sun and wind conditions, four devices on the roof of a model home could turn on the LEDs inside and power a temperature-humidity sensor.
Installed in large numbers on real rooftops, the hybrid device could help enable smart cities. Computer industry experts predict that tens of billions of gadgets will make up the IoT within just five years.
The material was provided by a US-based scientific society American Chemical Society that supports scientific inquiry in the field of chemistry.
The authors received funding from the Beijing Natural Science Foundation and the National Natural Science Foundation of China, among others.