Acoustic Electricity Generation - Modern Applications

In summary, the conversation discusses the possibility of utilizing piezoelectric materials to generate electricity from moving traffic on roads. The speaker also proposes using acoustic energy and resonance to convert and store energy, but others point out that the energy levels are small and there are significant losses in the capture process. However, there have been successful implementations of energy harvesting using atmospheric pressure and temperature changes, dating back to the 18th century.
  • #1
WiseGuy01
I do apologize if this is considered against the general discussion rules. I'd really like to get the opinion of individuals of an intellectual nature. I remember a recent discussion with a few family members on the topic of building infrastructure (roads) that generates electricity utilizing piezoelectric materials via moving traffic. After having reflected on things for some time I ended up with a crudely drawn paint image and a burning question... is there an efficient way to convert and/or store acoustic energy utilizing resonance of ( high density) elastic mass encased within a rigid crystalline housing (high density)?
 

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  • #2
Yes, it's a crude drawing, but what you describe is the basic purpose of a microphone. The problem is, there just isn't much sound energy out there, so they only generate a tiny amount of electric power.
 
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  • #3
In other words: just because a place is noisy doesn't mean the noise carries lots of energy.
 
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  • #4
russ_watters said:
Yes, it's a crude drawing, but what you describe is the basic purpose of a microphone. The problem is, there just isn't much sound energy out there, so they only generate a tiny amount of electric power.

I was thinking you could use the impact of falling water (terminal velocities) into a folding horn enclosure as the acoustic input, where I'm scratching my head I guess is how do you input acoustic energy into your resonator without loss of energy and how does it remain contained thereafter?

I realize there's not always a lot of energy in sound, that's the whole point of my project... to find out if you can take otherwise useless acoustic energy and turn it into a force you can do work with?

To be clear the resonators purpose is to store and amplify acoustic energy through resonance. Thanks for the replies. Hehe microphone :)
 
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  • #5
WiseGuy01 said:
I was thinking you could use the impact of falling water (terminal velocities)...
We already have that too: it's called a turbine. And they are pretty good as it is (though doing it at terminal velocity is a waste).
...into a folding horn enclosure as the acoustic input, where I'm scratching my head I guess is how do you input acoustic energy into your resonator without loss of energy and how does it remain contained thereafter?
To be honest, this just sounds like technobabble to me. Perhaps I'm just not understanding or it isn't focused enough..
I realize there's not always a lot of energy in sound, that's the whole point of my project... to find out if you can take otherwise useless acoustic energy and turn it into a force you can do work with?
Well, again: yes, just not much.
 
  • #6
https://spectrum.ieee.org/consumer-electronics/gadgets/acoustic-energy-harvesters-gaining-volume

The problem is that acoustic energy is not very dense: The sound of a crowd in full roar at London’s Wembley Stadium would provide only enough energy to fry an egg, Sheplak estimates.

... Sheplak’s team managed to extract about 30 mW in a laboratory experiment by mimicking a jet engine.

So yes, it can be done. But the energy levels are small, and there are significant losses in the capture devices.

But there may still be applications for things like this. Many of our electronics draw very low average power (clocks, remote sensors, for example). It would be convenient to never change a battery. Acoustic energy is just one. I think the changing in atmospheric pressure is interesting, it would seem to be limited only by the area of the diaphragm you could use? More:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_harvesting
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmos_clock

Clocks powered by atmospheric pressure and temperature changes were subsequently developed by Pierre de Rivaz in 1740,[2] and by James Cox and John Joseph Merlin (Cox's timepiece) in the 1760s. The Beverly Clock in Dunedin, New Zealand is still running despite never having been manually wound since its construction in 1865.

And these clocks are not all that large. I had no idea this had been implemented so long ago. Nothing new under the Sun!
 
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Related to Acoustic Electricity Generation - Modern Applications

1. What is acoustic electricity generation?

Acoustic electricity generation is the process of converting sound energy into electrical energy. This is done through the use of piezoelectric materials, which produce an electrical charge when subjected to mechanical stress or vibrations.

2. How does acoustic electricity generation work?

Acoustic electricity generation relies on the piezoelectric effect, which is the ability of certain materials to generate an electrical charge when subjected to mechanical stress. When sound waves vibrate against a piezoelectric material, it causes the material to deform, creating an electrical charge that can be harnessed as electricity.

3. What are some modern applications of acoustic electricity generation?

Acoustic electricity generation has many modern applications, including energy harvesting from ambient sound in urban environments, powering wireless sensors and devices, and even generating electricity from musical instruments and road traffic.

4. What are the advantages of using acoustic electricity generation?

One of the main advantages of acoustic electricity generation is that it is a renewable and sustainable source of energy. It also has a small environmental footprint and can be used in a variety of settings, making it a versatile energy source. Additionally, it does not require any fuel or produce emissions, making it a clean energy option.

5. Are there any limitations to acoustic electricity generation?

While acoustic electricity generation has many benefits, there are also some limitations. The amount of energy produced is relatively small compared to other forms of energy generation, so it is most suitable for low-power applications. Additionally, the efficiency of converting sound energy into electricity is still being improved, and the technology is not yet widely available or cost-effective.

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