National Physical Laboratory

Energy harvesting in the press

NPL works to characterise energy harvesting devices, and the materials that make them work, with a view to better understanding their performance and improving efficiency.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto
Image courtesy of iStockphoto

Energy harvesting is the scavenging of ambient energy from the environment that would otherwise be wasted. This energy could be in the form of heat, vibration, electromagnetic, or even acoustic.

NPL's Laurie Winkless was recently quoted in The Telegraph in an article discussing the future of energy harvesting. Laurie works primarily with thermoelectric materials that can be used to harvest waste heat. In the article she speaks about the future possibility of energy harvesting cooking pans that could charge your mobile phone while you cook, using the excess heat as an energy source, as well as television remote controls that could be powered simply by pressing the buttons.

Read the full article in The Telegraph

Much of the energy harvesting work at NPL forms part of a larger, collaborative project called 'Metrology for Energy Harvesting', funded by the European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP). This project was recently featured in an article in The Engineer which described a new waveform generator that could accurately mimic the outputs from energy harvesting devices and use them to calibrate measuring equipment. This will eventually be made available to all European National Measurement Institutes to help them create a set of internationally agreed standards, to encourage development, innovation and market acceptance of energy harvesting technology.

Read the full article in The Engineer

More on EMRP project: Metrology for Energy Harvesting

Watch a short video about Thermoelectric Materials

Last Updated: 6 Jun 2013
Created: 30 Nov 2012