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This new tech could allow your tyres to generate electricity

The Energy Harvester is a pretty clever bit of kit

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You know those moments where you see a new piece of technology and think ‘why hasn’t that been invented already?’

Yeah, this is one of them. The Energy Harvester is a small device, housed inside a tyre, that converts the static electricity usually produced by a rotating wheel into usable power. Seems an obvious thing to do, right?

At the moment, it’s still in development by the parent company of Falken Tyres – Sumitomo Rubber Industries – and Professor Hiroshi Tani of Kansai University. As it stands then, the Energy Harvester could only realistically be used to power smaller things such as tyre pressure sensors. How far it could really go, we’re unsure.

For those who want to delve a bit deeper into the tech specs. Inside the Energy Harvester are two layers of rubber each covered in an electrode, along with negatively and positively charged films. So, as the tyre deforms during rotation, the subsequent static electricity is harnessed.

Of course, it’s all very clever stuff, but the idea is straightforward enough for us to get a grip of. Apparently, Sumitomo’s work will now continue with the support of the Japan Science and Technology Agency, so it may not be long before we see the Energy Harvester in operation.

What do you reckon Internet? Is it a good idea, or will tyre development head in a different direction? Let us know in the comments below.

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