Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is working on a way to provide long-term power for the myriad of sensors in our oceans.
Most sensors have a limited life due to their battery capacity. Replacing batteries at sea is expensive and can even be dangerous. That is why PNNL is looking for a way to power ocean sensors indefinitely using the ocean’s energy.
The team is working on a new cylindrical triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG). These have the capacity to convert large amounts of wave energy into electricity to power the ocean sensors. According to PNNL laboratory fellow and co-developer of the new TENG device Daniel Deng:
“TENGs are low cost, lightweight, and can efficiently convert slow, uniform or random waves into power—making them particularly well-suited to powering devices in the open ocean where monitoring and access are challenging and costly. We’re developing the FMC-TENG to power everything from ocean observing platforms with multiple sensors to satellite communications, all using the power of the ocean.”
“The FMC-TENG is unique because there are very few wave energy converters that are efficient and able to generate significant power from low-frequency ocean waves. This type of generator could potentially power integrated buoys with sensor arrays to track open ocean water, wind, and climate data entirely using renewable ocean energy.”
You can find the original study here.