Researchers to develop energy-harvesting mat

Paul Boughton

Morgan Technical Ceramics is undertaking a Shorter Knowledge Transfer Partnership (sKTP) project with Glyndwr University in Wales. The project will last 26 weeks and aims to design and build an energy-harvesting demonstration system.

Morgan Technical Ceramics is an expert in piezo-electric ceramics for applications including ultrasonic cleaning and welding, sonar and medical imaging. It is now carrying out this research to create a system based on piezo-electric devices connected to a mat for collecting and storing energy from footfall. The project will specifically look at how to best match the electronics to the piezo-ceramic to develop more efficient energy harvesters.

The company is working with academics at Glyndwr University to prove this alternative energy source by constructing a proof-of-concept prototype. Morgan Technical Ceramics turned to the University for its expertise in computer aided design (CAD), finite element analysis (FEA), electrical power systems, power electronics and PCB design, all of which are essential for this new application.

Dr Ashley Darby, business manager for piezo shapes at Morgan Technical Ceramics, comments: "Industry is under increased pressure to find alternative renewable energy sources and to improve energy efficiency. By carrying out this sKTP in collaboration with Glyndwr University we can share our knowledge and expertise to innovate and identify opportunities for energy harvesting utilising piezo-electric ceramics."

Samantha Clutton, business engagement executive at Glyndwr University, adds: "We are delighted to be working with Morgan Technical Ceramics on this short KTP. This project will allow us to learn from each other and together we can push boundaries in the field of energy harvesting."

sKTPs, which are part-funded by the Government, enable companies such as Morgan Technical Ceramics to gain access to qualified people and experts within the UK's universities to help take an organisation forward and work in new areas. Through undertaking this sKTP both organisations can promote the practical application of alternative energies.

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