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Hybrid film and fibers capture energy from the elements

Industry News | October 1, 2011 | By:

What if a solar cell could harvest energy from the sun, wind and rain? The Institute of Material Research and Innovation (IMRI) at the University of Bolton, England, has developed hybrid film and fibers that do exactly that. An organic photovoltaic cell applied to a commercial piezoelectric polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) film or a piezoelectric polymer fiber makes a hybrid cell that responds to both mechanical vibrations and solar input. Wind, rain or tides produce an electrical voltage that is converted to a constant DC voltage by a rectifier, while the photovoltaic cell produces constant DC voltage from sunlight. The hybrid relies on more than one renewable energy source, making it a powerhouse for potential energy-saving applications.

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