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Discovered in the 1890s by Pierre and Jacques Curie, the Piezoelectric effect is a phenomena observed in certain crystals and ceramics. It explains how certain materials produce an electrical charge when applied with mechanical stress and vice versa. Current research by scientists focuses on using piezoelectric materials to power small scale applications such as MEMS deviecs and sensors. Existing applications of the piezoelectric effect in the real world range from buzzers, quartz watches to even tiles that convert the kinetic energy of footsteps into electricity. Here at the HARVEST project we seek to develop better applications of the piezoelectric effect in wind energy harvesing through combining materials science, electronics, and fluid mechanics.



Developed to address the electricity access issue, HARVEST is a renewable energy harvesting device that incorporates the piezoelectric effect with organic photovoltaics to harvest wind, precipitation, and sunlight in a single device. HARVEST is comprised of energy harvesting leaves that consist of a piezoelectric stem and solar foil surface. Whenever this "leaf" is bent due to the impact of wind or precipitation or exposed to sunlight it produces an electrical charge. HARVEST can be applied on the side of buildings and bridges to help better integrate renewable energy into the urban landscape or even directly be used in rural and remote areas to provide a localized source of power. Currently, we're working on adapting HARVEST's patent pending design to local ecosystems through conducting field testing.



Additionally, through gaining familiarity with supervised machine learning and computer vision techniques, we seek to address energy decision making challenges.

Research: Programs
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