Vibration-powered Generators Replace AA, AAA Batteries

Jul 16, 2010
Hideyoshi Kume, Nikkei Electronics
The AA-size prototype whose generator and rechargeable battery (electric double layer capacitor) are installed in one case. The voltage of the capacitor is 1.6V or lower.
The AA-size prototype whose generator and rechargeable battery (electric double layer capacitor) are installed in one case. The voltage of the capacitor is 1.6V or lower.
[Click to enlarge image]
The AA-size prototype whose generator and rechargeable battery are installed in two different cases. The voltage of the capacitor is 3.2V or lower.
The AA-size prototype whose generator and rechargeable battery are installed in two different cases. The voltage of the capacitor is 3.2V or lower.
[Click to enlarge image]
The AAA-size prototype whose generator and rechargeable battery are installed in two different cases. The voltage of the capacitor is 2.7V or lower.
The AAA-size prototype whose generator and rechargeable battery are installed in two different cases. The voltage of the capacitor is 2.7V or lower.
[Click to enlarge image]

Brother Industries Ltd developed small vibration-powered generators that can replace AA and AAA batteries.

For example, when the generator, which the company calls "Vibration-powered Generating Battery," is set inside a remote control, it is possible to use the remote by shaking it to generate power.

"The new generator will semipermanently eliminate the need to replace batteries and contribute to reducing the amount of wastes," Brother Industries said.

Brother Industries ensured the versatility of the generator by employing the shapes of commonly-used batteries. When used with a low power consumption device such as a remote, the generator can replace a battery, the company said.

Specifically, the generator can be used for a device that does not always consume electricity and has a power consumption of about 100mW, the company said. For example, the power consumption of a normal remote is 40 to 100mW.

This time, Brother Industries prototyped the generator in AA and AAA sizes. Inside a battery-shaped case, there are an electromagnetic induction generator and an electric double layer capacitor with a capacitance of about 500mF. The average output of the AA-size generator is 10 to 180mW (frequency: 4-8Hz).

Brother Industries will exhibit the Vibration-powered Generating Battery for the first time at Techno-frontier 2010, an exhibition that will run from July 21 to 23, 2010, in Tokyo. The company plans to demonstrate a TV remote control, a remote for lighting equipment and an LED flashlight using the battery.