Since my last blog post, my group and I have decided on a project idea and made considerable progress. My junior project is developing insoles that contain piezoelectric crystals that allow the wearer to convert the kinetic energy from walking into electrical energy that can charge a portable battery pack, which can then charge a phone. My group and I have made considerable progress in the development of the insole. With the help of one of our i2 teachers, Mr. Hunt, we were able to 3D print an insole with holes that allow us to place piezoelectric crystals in the insole. We have soldered the piezo elements together and included diodes to convert the electricity produced from AC to DC current in order to be able to charge a portable battery pack.
Although we have made great strides, we still faced some challenges. It took us a couple of days to realize that we wanted to use a multimeter to measure our output in volts, not amps. It also took us a few days to understand how to properly wire the piezo elements in parallel along with the diode bridge rectifier needed to change the type of current output by the piezo elements.
Our final steps include further testing of the voltage output of the piezo elements and what the most effective material is to maximize the voltage output of the piezo elements when placed on top of them. All in all, my team and I are very happy with the progress we have made with our project and are hopeful that we will have a completed project in time for the i2 showcase event in mid-April.