Professor Hiroshi Tani of Kansai University have developed a new technology to
generate electricity from the rotation of a tire. By installing a power
generating device (or Energy Harvester) inside a tire, researchers were able to
convert static electricity into clean energy.
The new device, which Sumitomo calls the ‘SMART TYRE CONCEPT’,
takes advantage of frictional charging, a type of static electricity that forms
each time a tire’s footprint deforms during rotation.
Sumitomo hopes the new technology holds potential for
practical applications as a power source for various automotive components, such
as Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) sensors.
In October 2018, the Japan Science and Technology Agency selected
this research for seed funding under A-STEP (Adaptable and Seamless Technology
Transfer Program through Target-Driven R&D), a program designed to help
move new technology from academic research into commercial production. Sumitomo
hopes to continue working on the project with the Science and Technology