Professor Gehan Amaratunga
Department of Engineering
Bending batteries, energy harvesting and beyond
Professor Gehan Amaratunga is head of the Electrical Power and Energy Conversion Research Group within the Electrical Engineering Division of the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge. He’s also an entrepreneur who has been working with Nokia researchers since 2007. Working as part of the Open Innovation initiative at NRC, in the Open Threads newsletter he talks about some of the interesting stuff he’s been working on and their ambitions.
“With Nokia what we are particularly looking at is the application of nanotechnologies for energy harvesting and energy storage. So, that means enhanced battery-life through supplementing the battery by harvesting energy from the environment around the mobile device, including the magnetic spectrum, as well as the light, then being able to store that efficiently in devices which have as good a performance or better than existing batteries. One of the key things we are concentrating on is trying to break away from the form factor limitations that are caused by existing battery technologies, such as cube and rectangular shapes. If you could shape the battery into any form you wanted, then you would have more flexibility in the form factor that a telephone takes.”
This is the sort of thinking and research that fuels ideas such as the Nokia Morph Concept: