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Sumitomo Rubber, Kansai U develop new technology to generate electric power using static electricity within a tire

Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. and Kansai University have developed a new technology to generate electric power from the rotation of a tire. The Energy Harvester takes advantage of the build up of static electricity—known as frictional charging—to produce power efficiently as the tire turns.

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Inside the Energy Harvester are two layers of rubber each covered in an electrode, along with a negatively charged film that interfaces with a positively charged film. When fixed to the inside of a conventional tire it generates electricity as the tire deforms during rotation.

Engineers believe the Energy Harvester could lead to practical applications as a power source for sensors used in TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems) and other automotive devices without the need for batteries.

The research has been selected by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (a national research and development agency) as a Type FS* Seed Project under A-STEP (Adaptable and Seamless Technology Transfer Program through Target-Driven R&D). Sumitomo Rubber Industries will now advance this research with support from the Japan Science and Technology Agency.

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