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A new technology that could see tyres generate electricity whilst driving is being developed by engineers in Japan. Falken’s parent company, Sumitomo Rubber Industries, together with Professor Hiroshi Tani of Kansai University, has developed the Energy Harvester that takes advantage of a static electricity called frictional charging, to generate power efficiently as the tyre turns.
The Energy Harvester device, fixed to the inside of the tyre carcass, generates electricity as the tyre deforms, was developed as part of Sumitomo’s programme to develop technologies that target improvements in safety and environmental performance.
Engineers believe the Energy Harvester could lead to practical applications as a power source for sensors used in TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) and other automotive devices without needing batteries.
The research has been selected by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (a national research and development agency) as a Type FS* Seed Project under A-STEP (Adaptable and Seamless Technology Transfer Program through Target-Driven R&D). Sumitomo Rubber Industries will now advance this research with support from the Japan Science and Technology Agency.