Power Backpack for Energy Harvesting and Reduced Load Impact.


Yang Z(1)(2), Yang Y(2), Liu F(1), Wang Z(1), Li Y(1), Qiu J(1), Xiao X(1), Li Z(1), Lu Y(1), Ji L(1), Wang ZL(3)(4), Cheng J(1).
Author information:
(1)State Key Laboratory of Tribology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China.
(2)School of Engineering and Technology, China University of Geosciences
(Beijing), Beijing 100083, China.
(3)Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100083, China.
(4)School of Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0245, United States.


Long-distance walking with heavy loads is often needed when going hiking or for field rescue, which is prone to cumulative fatigue. There is also a great need for labor-saving and biomechanical energy harvesting in daily life for extended security and communication needs. Here, we report a load-suspended backpack for harvesting the wasted energy of human motion based on a triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG). Two elastomers are incorporated into the backpack to decouple the synchronous movement of the load and the human body, which results in little or no extra accelerative force. With such a design, through theoretical analysis and field experiments, the backpack can realize a reduction of 28.75 % in the vertical oscillation of the load and 21.08 % in the vertical force on the wearer, respectively. Meanwhile, the mechanical-to-electric energy conversion efficiency is modeled and calculated to be 14.02 % under normal walking conditions. The designed backpack has the merits of labor-saving and shock absorption as well as electricity generation, which has the promising potential to be a power source for small-scale wearable and portable electronics, GPS systems, and other self-powered health care sensors.