Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting Technology

Center: Ames Research Center

Category: Power Generation and Storage

Patent: 9,024,510

Inventor: Bin Chen


NASA Technology Page

Invention Overview:

Thin film, piezoelectric materials generate a small voltage whenever they are deformed, suggesting that they are suitable for tapping energy from freely available resources, such as the wind. Yet their low-energy production levels and lack of electrode durability have hampered development. NASA researchers have invented a system, method, and device for improving the performance and increasing the lifespan of small form factor, thin film electrode, piezoelectric devices capable of interacting with the wind to provide power to wearable devices and stretchable electronics.



System/subsystem/component validation in relevant environment: Thorough testing of prototyping in representative environment. Basic technology elements integrated with reasonably realistic supporting elements. Prototyping implementations conform to target environment and interfaces.



Renewable energy, on/off-shore wind energy generation, wearable electronics, sustainable energy



  • The metal oxide improves the conductance
  • Carbon based electrodes improve durability
  • Polymer-to-polymer design eliminates the need for an adhesion layer
  • Can be stretched while still maintaining functionality
  • Small, lightweight
  • High conversion efficiency

Invention Disadvantages and Possible Mitigation:

Numerous applications - correct industry must be targeted to maximize de-risked technology


Potential Technology Bundling:

Proposed bundling with LAR-TOPS-40: Kite-like Wind Power Generation Control System