Piezoelectric Sensing and Energy Harvesting in Touchscreens
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Team Piezo investigated the increasing demands on smartphone batteries by developing a touchscreen prototype that integrates piezoelectric materials to sense touch location and generate energy for the battery. The touchscreen prototype uses a piezoelectric element with patterned electrodes that extract a current when touched. A circuit with an Arduino microcontroller successfully senses the location of the activated piezoelectric sections. The team designed several prototypes and conducted testing to evaluate performance and electrical response. Methods of extracting and storing energy were investigated, however storage was not successful enough to integrate into the prototype. Phone usage data was collected with surveys and was compared to power output of the touchscreen system to determine the theoretical amount of retrievable energy for future development.