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Tyres that can generate electricity?

Falken parent company Sumitomo Rubber Industries has developed a method of harvesting static electricity from rotating tyres and then using this energy to power sensors, such as those used for tyre pressure monitoring systems.

Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) has further developed the technology. SRI and Professor Hiroshi Tani of Kansai University have conducted joint research on technology which generates electricity from the rotation of tyres. This is achieved by mounting an energy harvester, a small power generating device, within the tyre which captures static electricity.

The joint project with Professor Hiroshi Tani of Kansai University in Japan, has resulted in an integrated system that uses the electricity generated by the energy harvester to charge a power control unit, which in turn activates and supplies power to an external sensor.

At 50km/h, the system produces more than 800 microwatts of power, sufficient to activate an external sensor and achieve continuous Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) transmission.

Other studies into harvesting kinetic and static energy from moving vehicles include using magnets and copper coils inside shock absorbers to convert reciprocating motion into electricity.

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