Uni of Bath collaboration paves way for emission reducing smart tyres
The University of Bath has announced it will be working with the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), the UK’s technology innovation provider for process manufacturing and Silent Sensors, sensor technology experts – to develop a key component for the future of smart tyres that will be able to generate electricity.
“The ability to harvest energy from tyres can have significant benefits”
Designed to reduce the carbon emissions of vehicles, the trio will be developing specialist tyres using Tyre Pressure Monitoring (TPM) sensors that use piezoelectric energy harvesting to recycle the energy produced by the mechanical motion of tyres into electricity. This, in turn, will reduce fuel costs – as well as the impact motorised vehicles have on the environment.
With the University of Bath providing piezoelectric materials, Silent Sensors providing the specialist TMS tyre sensors and CPI offering up its world-class manufacturing facilities at the National Printable Electronics Centre – this is a truly collaborative affair.
Professor Chris Bowen (pictured left), a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Bath, says: “We will explore a range of piezoelectric materials and composite systems to convert mechanical vibrations and strains into electrical energy for intelligent tyre sensors.
“The ability to harvest energy from tyres can have significant benefits through reducing weight, reliance on batteries, the environmental impact and maintenance.”
The internet of tyres
With the use of vehicles on the rise across the world, especially within businesses, the need to reduce fuel consumption and cost is on the increase.
However, intelligent tyres could have all sorts of other innovative uses. Silent Sensors – which specialises in tracking and sensor technology for the ‘Internet of Tyres’ – will develop energy harvesting and sensing technology to optimise tyre performance via the new TMS.
“The piezoelectric materials that Bath University has developed show great promise”
Data from the tyre sensors will be used at the edge of the Internet of Things network to give vehicles the reflexes needed to stay safe and efficient. The data will also be fed into the cloud for analytics and transactional requirements such as carbon trading or paying by the kilometre.
As Marcus Taylor, CEO and Co-Founder of Silent Sensors explains: “The Intelligent Tyre is our goal in the next two years and the piezoelectric materials that Bath University has developed show great promise.
“Within our TMS tyre sensors we have energy harvesting and storage, micro-controllers, short range radio and sensor arrays that will enable future autonomous vehicles to use their tyres to detect information about the environment. Our partnership with CPI ensures that we will be able to scale up as demand in the market for these components grows – as it inevitably will in the next five years.”
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