Burning Rubber May Soon Generate Power

Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. announced that, through joint research undertaken with Professor Hiroshi Tani of Kansai University the development of a way to generate power by tire rotation by installing a power generating device (Energy Harvester) inside of a tire to convert static electricity occurring within a tire into clean energy.

This new device takes advantage of a type of static electricity called frictional charging to generate electric power efficiently each time a tire’s footprint deforms as a tire rotates.

The company beleives that this technology holds great potential for practical applications as a power source for various automotive digital tools.Having launched “SMART TYRE CONCEPT” as a new tire technology development concept that aims to respond to the sweeping changes now occurring throughout the automotive industry by realizing “Ever Greater Safety Performance” and “Ever Greater Environmental Performance,” Sumitomo Rubber Industries has been working to introduce new automotive solution services that take advantage of a wide range of data obtained using various digital tools.

The company is confident that the results of this latest research will lead to practical applications for this new technology as a power source for sensors used in TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) and other automotive devices, contributing to the creation of future services that make use of various digital tools without any need for batteries.

Further, in October of 2018, this research theme was selected by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (a national research and development agency) as a Type FS* Seed Project under A-STEP (Adaptable and Seamless Technology Transfer Program through Target-Driven R&D). Moving forward, we will continue working to advance this research with support from the Japan Science and Technology Agency.

*A program supporting research and development projects undertaken jointly by academia and enterprise in order to perform feasibility and application studies based on the results of academic research related to technological “seeds,” with the ultimate aim of producing new core technologies.