- 日本エネルギー学会誌 (ISSN:09168753)
- vol.86, no.9, pp.743-747, 2007-09-20
In the past decade, much research has been focused on electroactive polymers (EAPs) as actuators. However, less well known is the fact that some of these materials have outstanding performance in the generator mode. Whereas polymer actuators convert electrical energy to mechanical energy, polymer generators convert mechanical energy to electrical energy. Many of the characteristics that make EAPs attractive as actuators also make them attractive as generators. Potential advantages include high energy output per unit mass, low cost, good coupling to many mechanical inputs, lightweight materials, and flexible design. We believe that given new capabilities enabled by EAPs, and the world's critical need for electrical power, that EAP power generation is an important focus area for research and development. Indeed, it is possible that EAP power generation could well exceed the importance of EAP actuators, itself an exciting technology area.