A nanogenerator for harvesting airflow energy and light energy†
Harvesting airflow energy and light energy from the ambient environment to build a self-powered system is attractive and challenging work. In this article, an airflow-induced triboelectric nanogenerator (ATNG) has been fabricated that converts wind energy to alternating electricity. The mechanism of ATNG has also been illustrated. The performance of ATNGs with different sizes was studied, from which we discovered that the ATNG (size: 1 cm × 3 cm, electrode gap: 1.5 mm) could easily collect energy from a gentle wind (5.3 m s−1). Due to the relatively high alternating electricity frequency (179.5–1220.9 Hz), an approximately stable output power (of up to 1.5 mW) was obtained from the ATNG (size: 1 cm × 3 cm, electrode gap: 0.5 mm) with 8.35 μC of charge transferred per second. Meanwhile, the fabricated wind energy harvesting device was used to drive 46 commercial green light-emitting diodes (LEDs) connected in series and charge a 220 μF capacitor to 2.5 V over 50 s. When combined with a dye-sensitized solar cell (DSC), the device can individually and simultaneously harvest wind and light energy. This shows the potential applications of this ATNG in self-powered systems.