Estonian tech firm Skeleton Technologies has joined a €7-million, pan-European initiative aimed at implementing innovative material systems for energy harvesting and electrical energy storage, with a view to ensuring the sustainable and efficient use of resources in line with a circular economy perspective. Energy harvesting can even make use of simple walking in its operation.
Skeleton, headquartered in Tallinn, manufactures ultracapacitors. Its manufacturing facilities are located in Germany.
Skeleton has joined INnovative polymer based COmposite systeMs for high efficient Energy Scavenging and Storage ((InComEss) , a project with a €7-million budget which develops smart materials with energy harvesting and storage capabilities, the company said in a press release.
InComEss comprises 17 business and academic partners from nine European countries.
Energy harvesting captures small amounts of energy which would otherwise be lost as heat, light, sound, vibration or movement, and contributes to reduce fossil fuel dependence as well as maximizing current energy sources' efficiency.
Skeleton Technologies's role in the project is to evaluate the performance of novel polymer materials in ultracapacitors used in energy harvesting from external sources which exercise pressure, even including that arising from individuals walking.
Skeleton Technologies CEO Taavi Madiberk said that: "Skeleton is focused on helping industries to innovate and transform themselves. Innovation should not stop during the pandemic. It is even the opposite, as this crisis shows us that moving fast is essential."
"Self-sustainability and the circular economy are the future of our economy and, once again, ultracapacitors will demonstrate their relevance and efficiency. By using them, we can potentially harvest and generate energy from any kind of pressure sources, including by simply walking. This would be a game changer for the realization of a low-carbon society," Madiberk went on.
InComEss is funded by the European Commission's Horizon 2020 Research Program, and brings together public and private partners including the Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research in Dresden, Germany, Italian automotive supplier MARELLI, the Foundation for Research & Technology – Hellas (Greece) and Brunel University in London.
InComEss says its technologies, applications and services could impact partners' turnover by a total of €100 million, following market up-take.
Ultracapacitors, sometimes called supercapacitors, are high-capacity devices which store electrical energy in an electric field. They have a capacitance value much higher than other capacitors, but with lower voltage limits, and bridge the gap between electrolytic capacitors and rechargeable batteries (see cover image).
Editor: Andrew Whyte