Optimisation of Triboelectric Nanogenerator performance in vertical contact-separation mode

Min, Guanbo (2022) Optimisation of Triboelectric Nanogenerator performance in vertical contact-separation mode. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) is one of the most promising energy harvesters – a technology that uses repeated or reciprocating contact of suitably chosen materials to generate charge via the triboelectric effect (TE) and utilizes this as usable voltage and current. TENGs are attractive as they can continuously generate charge over a wide range of operating conditions and have several valuable advantages such as light weight, simple structure, low cost and high efficiency. Therefore, TENGs have been explored in a wide range of applications, including self-powered wearable electronics, powering electronics and even for harvesting ocean wave/wind energy. One of the major limitations of TENGs is their low power output (usually <500 W/m2). This thesis focuses of a few specific approaches to optimising TENG output performance. This thesis begins by presenting a solution to this challenge by optimizing a low permittivity substrate beneath the tribo-contact layer. The open circuit voltage is found to increase by a factor of 1.3 in moving from PET to the lower permittivity PTFE. TENG performance is also believed to depend on contact force, but the origin of the dependence had not previously been explored. Herein, we show that this behaviour results from a contact force dependent real contact area Ar as governed by surface roughness. The open circuit voltage Voc, short circuit current Isc and Ar for a TENG were found to increase with contact force/pressure. Critically, Voc and Isc saturate at the same contact pressure as Ar suggesting that electrical output follows the same evolution as Ar. Assuming that tribo charges can only transfer across the interface at areas of real contact, it follows that an increasing Ar with contact pressure should produce a corresponding increase in the electrical output. These results underline the importance of accounting for real contact area in TENG design, as well as the distinction between real and nominal contact area in tribo-charge density definition. High-performance ferroelectricassisted TENGs (Fe-TENGs) are developed using electrospun fibrous surfaces based on P(VDFTrFE) with dispersed BaTiO3 (BTO) nanofillers in either cubic (CBTO) or tetragonal (TBTO) form in this thesis. TENGs with three types of tribo-negative surface were investigated and output increased progressively. Critically, P(VDF-TrFE)/TBTO produced higher output than P(VDFTrFE)/ CBTO even though permittivity is nearly identical. Thus, it is shown that BTO fillers boost output, not just by increasing permittivity, but also by enhancing the crystallinity and amount of the β-phase (as TBTO produced a more crystalline β-phase present in greater amounts).

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering
Supervisor's Name: Mulvihill, Dr. Daniel and Dahiya, Professor Ravinder
Date of Award: 2022
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2022-82889
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 May 2022 11:06
Last Modified: 19 May 2022 11:09
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.82889
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/82889
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