This paper reports a flexible energy harvesting insole made of multilayer ferroelectrets, and demonstrates that this insole can power a wireless signal transmission. We have previously studied the energy harvesting characteristics of single and 10-layer ferroelectrets under compressive forces with quantified amplitudes and frequencies. In this work, we fabricate a flexible insole using multilayer ferroelectrets, and increase the number of layers from 10 up to 80, then use this insole to harvest energy from footsteps. We use this insole to power a commercial ZigBee wireless transmitter, and successfully demonstrate that an 8-bit data transmission can be solely powered by the energy harvested from this insole for every 3 to 4 footsteps. It confirms the anticipation from our previous work that the multilayer ferroelectrets are capable of powering the start-up and transmission of a low-power chipset, and shows a potential of using this energy harvesting insole in wearable applications.
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Luo, Z., Zhu, D., & Beeby, S. P. (2015). Multilayer ferroelectret-based energy harvesting insole. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 660(1), . https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/660/1/012118