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Prototype Generator Harnesses Vibration Power


Omron Corp. recently debuted a small prototype generator that harnesses power from vibrations to create electricity. The model will be cheap—approximately $10.36— due to its simple structure and packaging.

Omron’s generator works with an “electret power generation system” that changes capacitance depending on the relative position of opposing electrodes. A change in capacitance generates electric current.

The prototype produces only 10μW of power with vibrational inputs at 20Hz frequency and 1G acceleration, which is not enough to continuously operate a cell phone.

But despite its minimal power-generating ability, there are important uses for the prototype. Omron plans on placing the generator in devices installed on highways to detect road problems. Eventually, the generator could be installed inside car tires for tire pressure monitoring since tires vibrate strongly during movement.

Stay tuned for a release date—Omron hasn’t yet said when the generator will be commercially available.

Photo Credit: Omron

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Written By

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.


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