Research Background
Hybrid Energy Systems Laboratory

Piezoelectric Elements:

MIDE QP20w Actuator

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  • Cell phone use has become ubiquitous in modern society. The number of cell phone users has reached well over 2 billion.

 

  • Benefits of cell phone use are personal safety, financial incentives (cheaper than landlines), information access, social interaction, parent/child contact, and time management.

 

  • In addition to voice communication, cell phones commonly include features such as text messaging, e-mail, games, digital cameras for still pictures and video, voice calling, Web browsing, alarm clocks, calculators, calendars, hands-free operation (including Bluetooth), GPS locators, and numerous other capabilities. Increased use and additional features result in more power drain from the battery, and therefore more frequent recharging.

 

  • Increasing the available current, and the time between recharging events, requires larger batteries. Concurrently, consumers want smaller and lighter phones. The challenge for engineers is to accommodate these conflicting (from a design standpoint) consumer desires: more features, long battery life, and small phones.

 

  • Piezoelectric elements produce a voltage when the key is depressed, perhaps generating appreciable current. This may allow longer time in between charges, and/or smaller battery size when incorporated into cell phones.