Technology 2 min read

New Backpack Generates Electricity Using Side-to-Side Movement

Researchers from Queen's University have developed a backpack that generates electricity when worn while walking. According to the team, it can produce enough power to recharge smartphones and other devices.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Two researchers at the at Queen’s University have designed a backpack that generates electricity from side-to-side movement. In their publication in Royal Society Open Science, Qingguo Li and Jean-Paul Martin described how the tech works.

Biomechanical energy harvesters are devices that harvest energy from our movement. Hence, generating electricity in the process.

You’ll find an example of such devices attached to shoes, or even shirts.

Previous biomechanics energy harvesters have only been able to generate a small amount of power. As a result, they’ve not been able to power any device.

So, the researchers focused their effort on creating a harvester that’ll generate enough electricity to power a small device. The result of this effort was a backpack that could capture energy from the side-to-side movement associated with walking.

How the Backpack Generates Electricity From Side-to-Side Movement

Image Credit: The Royal Society Open Science

When creating the device, the researchers attached a weight to the top part of a pendulum. So, as a person walks, the weight swings back and forth, and its momentum increases.

The lower part of the pendulum ends in springs, which are connected to the energy harvesting module. The researchers then covered the device in a frame and placed it inside a backpack.

To generate more electricity, the researchers only needed to add more weight to the top pendulum. According to the researchers, a 20-pound weight generated enough electricity to power a GPS handset.

Aside from the 11 pounds weight of the device and backpack, adding an additional 35 pounds generated more electricity – enough to power a smartphone.

Application of the Backpack that Generates Electricity

According to the researchers, people who work in remote areas such as explorers or scientists will find the bag useful. Since users don’t have to engage in any more activity to generate electricity, the device already has an advantage over similar harvesters.

But, before the researchers can produce the device commercially, one thing is necessary. They have to figure out how to reduce the weight without loss of power generation.

Read More: Researchers Develop Flexible Generator To Turn Movement Into Energy

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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