Japan’s Sumitomo Rubber Industries, in collaboration with Professor Hiroshi Tani of Kansai University, is developing a technology that can generate electric power from the rotation of a tyre by attaching a power generating device (energy harvester) inside a tyre to harness the static electricity that is generated within a tyre during rotation.
By combining two types of power generating devices, it says it has succeeded in generating stable electric power over a wide speed range and confirmed the operation of TPMS that is installed in the tyre.
It adds that it “will continue to support driver safety by further accelerating the development of Tyre Internal Power Generation Technology to enable stable operation of various digital tools”.
It also says that in its development so far, it has succeeded in generating power at low speeds by utilising the tension caused by changes in tyre strain (power generating device A).
“In the current development, we have succeeded in generating a considerable amount of power even at high speeds by effectively arranging a power generating device that utilises the centrifugal force caused by changes in acceleration (power generating device B). By connecting two types of friction power generating devices with different power generation mechanisms in parallel, stable power can be obtained over a wide speed range, and experiments with actual vehicles have confirmed the stable activation of TPMS in low and high speed ranges,” says the firm.
SRI adds that it is actively engaged in wide-ranging R&D as part of its Smart Tyre concept, focused on the development of new technologies for tyres and peripheral services and says that the tyre internal power generation technology is a solution “to the most critical problem in tyre sensing, which is the battery life of the sensor device, and that its realisation will greatly advance the practical application of tyre sensing”.