GET FIT TECH
Sign up for the FREE digital edition of Fit Tech magazine and also get the Fit Tech ezine and breaking news email alerts.
Not right now, thanksclose this window
FIBO Exhibition
FIBO Exhibition
FIBO Exhibition
Get Fit Tech
digital magazine
features

Research: Collect wind power as you move

Researchers in China have designed a tiny device that can scavenge wind energy from the breeze you make when you walk or run

Published in Fit Tech 2021 issue 1

Most of the wind available on land is too gentle to push commercial wind turbine blades, but now researchers in China have designed a kind of “tiny wind turbine” that can scavenge wind energy from breezes as little as those created by a brisk walk. The method, presented in the journal Cell Reports Physical Science, is a low-cost and efficient way of collecting light breezes as a micro-energy source.

The new device is not technically a turbine. It is a nanogenerator made of two plastic strips in a tube that flutter or clap together when there is airflow. Like rubbing a balloon to your hair, the two plastics become electrically charged after being separated from contact, a phenomenon called the triboelectric effect. But instead of making your hair stand up like Einstein’s, the electricity generated by the two plastic strips is captured and stored.

“You can collect all the breeze in your everyday life,” says senior author Ya Yang of Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems, Chinese Academy of Sciences. “We once placed our nanogenerator on a person’s arm, and a swinging arm’s airflow was enough to generate power.”

Allows sweat to evaporate
A breeze as gentle as 1.6 m/s (3.6 mph) was enough to power the triboelectric nanogenerator designed by Yang and his colleagues. The nanogenerator performs at its best when wind velocity is between 4 to 8 m/s (8.9 to 17.9 mph), a speed that allows the two plastic strips to flutter in sync. The device also has a high wind-to-energy conversion efficiency of 3.23 per cent, a value that exceeds previously reported performances on wind energy scavenging. Currently, the research team’s device can power up 100 LED lights and temperature sensors.

“Our intention isn’t to replace existing wind power generation technology. Our goal is to solve the issues that the traditional wind turbines can’t solve,” says Yang. “Unlike wind turbines that use coils and magnets, where the costs are fixed, we can pick and choose low-cost materials for our device. Our device can also be safely applied to nature reserves or cities because it doesn’t have the rotating structures.”

Big goal, small device
In the past, Yang and his colleagues have designed a nanogenerator as small as a coin, but he wants to make it even tinier and more compact with higher efficiency. In the future, Yang and his colleagues would like to combine the device to small electronic devices such as phones, to provide sustainable electric power.

• For more research using triboelectric nanogenerator technology, see Fit Tech Issue 2 2020: Create your own energy

Sign up here to get Fit Tech's weekly ezine and every issue of Fit Tech magazine free on digital.
More features

Fit Tech Leadership Report

Fit tech is a growing, competitive sector. Executive search firm, Stronger Talent, recently analysed the backgrounds of more than 300 fit tech executives to provide insights into recruiting strategies, as Pete Leibman explains
people

Devi Mahadevia

Facebook director of sports and fitness partnerships
With Facebook paid online events, publishers can charge viewers to attend a video livestream on their Facebook pages or a third party video service

Virtual wellbeing check

Feelings of pressure, isolation and performance anxiety are commonly experienced by athletes, however it isn’t always easy for clubs to identify those who are struggling. Richard Lucas, founder of GoVox, explains how technology can help
people

Andy Etches

Founder and sports director, Rezzil
Rezzil was able to have an injured player learning his new manager's philosophy, positioning and playing style – all from a seated position
Editor's letter

Big (fit) tech

We’re entering the age of the wellness mega-corp, with the ultimate goal for investors being to dominate health and wellness markets in every channel. Prepare to expect the unexpected in this convergence of health, fitness and wellness

Staying sticky

Bob Lawson explains how digital fitness platforms and apps can maximise retention and prevent churn
people

Kevin Dawidowicz

President, CoachMePlus
Fitness apps are designed to train clients, without a trainer on the other side. We give coaches a tool for connection
interview

Robotic muscles

We identified the need to step beyond the current approaches to muscle weakness, and move instead to placing robotic muscles exactly where they’re needed – inside the body

Collect wind power as you move

Researchers in China have designed a tiny device that can scavenge wind energy from the breeze you make when you walk or run

Clubs without walls

Venueserve Fitness is working with the Health Club Collection to drive its digital customer engagement

Digital retention top performers

Three digital fitness platforms tell Fit Tech how they work to achieve higher levels of customer retention
interview

Rodrigo Jesus, Salus Optima

We recognise that we can digitise most of the coaching experience, but we also recognise that the human in the loop is irreplaceable

Funxtion: A brand new app

FunXtion and GoodLife Fitness are collaborating to help Canadians stay fit in the gym and at home
interview

Preston Lewis, Black Box VR

It’s clear that combining VR gaming with fitness has the potential to decrease pain, increase enjoyment, and allow players to push their bodies further than they would normally, creating real fitness gains over time

Sky x Fiit

Fiit has secured a deal with TV giant Sky, to make its virtual workout platform available through the subscription-based Sky Q service. With 20 per cent of Fiit users now accessing the app through Sky, Fit Tech speaks to Fraser Stirling and Daniel Shellard to find out more
interview

Blurring the lines

Les Mills has launched a suite of digital solutions to help gyms future-proof by expanding their reach in the booming online fitness space, while complementing their live offerings. Steph Eaves talks to Les Mills International’s CMO Anna Henwood to find out more
interview

Forme Life: Trent Ward & Yves Béhar

The screen is effectively a six foot tablet, so developing the product from scratch took time, lots of testing and millions of cycles
interview

PureGym

We’ve been ranked number two on the App Store for health and fitness, second only to Fitbit
interview

Lindsay Cook, FitOn

Today FitOn is a totally different experience. That’s the beauty of software – it’s so easy to improve and change to meet your members’ needs
people

Richard Hanbury

Founder and CEO, Sana
I was in Yemen, close to the capital, Sana’a, when I had the accident that put me in a wheelchair and gave me a chronic nerve damage pain problem. This led me to develop the underlying technology of Sana
interview

Paul Bowman, Wexer

The future of fitness is hybrid, says the CEO of Wexer. He shares his thoughts on why and how the industry should embrace this change
interview

Will Ahmed, Whoop

Whoop is taking wearable technology to the next level, providing deeper insights into individuals’ physiology and enabling optimised training. Founder and CEO Will Ahmed talks to Steph Eaves about the importance of personalised feedback

Create your own energy

A breakthrough in technology means wearable devices and other health and fitness products could soon be self-powered. Steph Eaves talks to Dr Ishara Dharmasena to find out how this could impact health and fitness

Functional wearables

A new ultra-thin, stretchable electronic material could be a game changer for wearable tech
Featured supplier: Connect for success with Precor
Members are returning post-lockdown expecting a fully integrated service, meaning digital connectivity has never been more important.
Featured supplier: Integrated workout solutions will underpin gyms' recovery, says Les Mills’ Martin Franklin
The UK has spent most of the year in lockdown but finally, clubs are beginning to see their fitness communities open back up, with indoor group exercise not far behind.
CPASE creates unforgettable luxury member experience at new boutique club with Technogym
Technogym
Technogym has equipped Clare Stobart's new boutique health club – CPASE. Read more
Company profile: Hussle
Hussle exists for two reasons: To increase opportunities for people to engage in physical activity ...
Company profile: Les Mills UK
For over 50 years Les Mills has been leading the way in fitness to inspire ...
Fitness equipment
Technogym: Fitness equipment
Lockers/interior design
Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Featured supplier: Connect for success with Precor
Members are returning post-lockdown expecting a fully integrated service, meaning digital connectivity has never been more important.
Featured supplier: Integrated workout solutions will underpin gyms' recovery, says Les Mills’ Martin Franklin
The UK has spent most of the year in lockdown but finally, clubs are beginning to see their fitness communities open back up, with indoor group exercise not far behind.
Company profile: Hussle
Hussle exists for two reasons: To increase opportunities for people to engage in physical activity ...
Company profile: Les Mills UK
For over 50 years Les Mills has been leading the way in fitness to inspire ...
CPASE creates unforgettable luxury member experience at new boutique club with Technogym
Technogym
Technogym has equipped Clare Stobart's new boutique health club – CPASE. Read more
Get Fit Tech
Sign up for the free digital edition of Fit Tech magazine and the free weekly Fit Tech ezine
Sign up
Fitness equipment
Technogym: Fitness equipment
Lockers/interior design
Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software

latest news

Hussle has secured a deal to become the selected fitness partner of digital banking app Revolut. Revolut has around 3.6 ...
Peloton is recalling all of its Tread and Tread+ machines in the US, after striking a deal with the US ...
ABC Fitness Solutions is the latest supplier to launch a service to help operators cater to the increasing demand for ...
Actor Mark Wahlberg has officially joined Power Plate as an investor in parent company, Performance Health Systems and brand ambassador ...
Sports equipment and apparel giant Adidas has revealed plans to produce a mycelium leather version of its classic Stan Smith ...
Fitbit is introducing stress management tools to millions of its users by bringing them to its activity trackers for the ...
At-home fitness giant Peloton said it is "troubled" by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) decision to urge consumers ...
At-home fitness startup Tempo is believed to be in the latter stages of finalising a US$100m cash injection from Japanese ...
A new at-home fitness app will enable friends, communities, and coaches to remotely work out together using live video links. ...
Fitness tech firm Therabody has expanded into a new area of wellness with the launch of a new compression recovery ...
Les Mills has come up with an ingenious solution to get around the pandemic travel bans, which threatened a long ...
At-home fitness giant Peloton has officially completed the acquisition of equipment provider Precor, in a deal worth US$420m. Precor will ...
More news
features

Research: Collect wind power as you move

Researchers in China have designed a tiny device that can scavenge wind energy from the breeze you make when you walk or run

Published in Fit Tech 2021 issue 1

Most of the wind available on land is too gentle to push commercial wind turbine blades, but now researchers in China have designed a kind of “tiny wind turbine” that can scavenge wind energy from breezes as little as those created by a brisk walk. The method, presented in the journal Cell Reports Physical Science, is a low-cost and efficient way of collecting light breezes as a micro-energy source.

The new device is not technically a turbine. It is a nanogenerator made of two plastic strips in a tube that flutter or clap together when there is airflow. Like rubbing a balloon to your hair, the two plastics become electrically charged after being separated from contact, a phenomenon called the triboelectric effect. But instead of making your hair stand up like Einstein’s, the electricity generated by the two plastic strips is captured and stored.

“You can collect all the breeze in your everyday life,” says senior author Ya Yang of Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems, Chinese Academy of Sciences. “We once placed our nanogenerator on a person’s arm, and a swinging arm’s airflow was enough to generate power.”

Allows sweat to evaporate
A breeze as gentle as 1.6 m/s (3.6 mph) was enough to power the triboelectric nanogenerator designed by Yang and his colleagues. The nanogenerator performs at its best when wind velocity is between 4 to 8 m/s (8.9 to 17.9 mph), a speed that allows the two plastic strips to flutter in sync. The device also has a high wind-to-energy conversion efficiency of 3.23 per cent, a value that exceeds previously reported performances on wind energy scavenging. Currently, the research team’s device can power up 100 LED lights and temperature sensors.

“Our intention isn’t to replace existing wind power generation technology. Our goal is to solve the issues that the traditional wind turbines can’t solve,” says Yang. “Unlike wind turbines that use coils and magnets, where the costs are fixed, we can pick and choose low-cost materials for our device. Our device can also be safely applied to nature reserves or cities because it doesn’t have the rotating structures.”

Big goal, small device
In the past, Yang and his colleagues have designed a nanogenerator as small as a coin, but he wants to make it even tinier and more compact with higher efficiency. In the future, Yang and his colleagues would like to combine the device to small electronic devices such as phones, to provide sustainable electric power.

• For more research using triboelectric nanogenerator technology, see Fit Tech Issue 2 2020: Create your own energy

Sign up here to get Fit Tech's weekly ezine and every issue of Fit Tech magazine free on digital.
More features

Fit Tech Leadership Report

Fit tech is a growing, competitive sector. Executive search firm, Stronger Talent, recently analysed the backgrounds of more than 300 fit tech executives to provide insights into recruiting strategies, as Pete Leibman explains
people

Devi Mahadevia

Facebook director of sports and fitness partnerships
With Facebook paid online events, publishers can charge viewers to attend a video livestream on their Facebook pages or a third party video service

Virtual wellbeing check

Feelings of pressure, isolation and performance anxiety are commonly experienced by athletes, however it isn’t always easy for clubs to identify those who are struggling. Richard Lucas, founder of GoVox, explains how technology can help
people

Andy Etches

Founder and sports director, Rezzil
Rezzil was able to have an injured player learning his new manager's philosophy, positioning and playing style – all from a seated position
Editor's letter

Big (fit) tech

We’re entering the age of the wellness mega-corp, with the ultimate goal for investors being to dominate health and wellness markets in every channel. Prepare to expect the unexpected in this convergence of health, fitness and wellness

Staying sticky

Bob Lawson explains how digital fitness platforms and apps can maximise retention and prevent churn
people

Kevin Dawidowicz

President, CoachMePlus
Fitness apps are designed to train clients, without a trainer on the other side. We give coaches a tool for connection
interview

Robotic muscles

We identified the need to step beyond the current approaches to muscle weakness, and move instead to placing robotic muscles exactly where they’re needed – inside the body

Collect wind power as you move

Researchers in China have designed a tiny device that can scavenge wind energy from the breeze you make when you walk or run

Clubs without walls

Venueserve Fitness is working with the Health Club Collection to drive its digital customer engagement

Digital retention top performers

Three digital fitness platforms tell Fit Tech how they work to achieve higher levels of customer retention
interview

Rodrigo Jesus, Salus Optima

Everything we do is evidence based and scientifically proven. Our technology is grounded in science and we have dozens of scientists and experts who collaborate with us in human performance
FIBO Exhibition
FIBO Exhibition