Generating Electric Power within a Tyre

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Sumitomo Rubber Industries and Kansai University have developed a new technology to generate electric power from the rotation of a tyre. The research, undertaken by Professor Hiroshi Tani of Kansai University, found that by installing an energy harvester inside a tyre, static electricity can be converted to clean energy.

This energy harvester takes advantage of a type of static electricity called frictional charging, which is formed each time a tyres footprint deforms as it rotates along the road. It is believed that this technology holds great potential for practical applications such as a power source for many automotive digital tools.

Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) have been working to introduce new automotive solution services using tools that take advantage of a wide range of data. This follows the “Smart Tyre Concept” development from SRI that aims to respond to the sweeping changes in the automotive industry and demand for greater safety and environmental performance for consumers.

SRI are confident that the results of this latest research will lead to practical applications for this new technology as a power source for sensors used in TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) and other automotive devices, contributing to the creation of future services that make use of digital tools without the need for batteries.

In October 2018, this research theme was selected by the Japan Science and Technology as a Type FS Seed Project * under A-STEP (Adaptable and Seamless Technology Transfer Program through Target-Driven R&D). Moving forward, SRI will continue working to advance this research with support from the Japan Science and Technology Agency.