Forest fires are a significant threat to the environment and are difficult to put out once they start. While the elemental properties of fire bring healing and a fresh start, the damages done often take many lives in the process. We can’t prevent nature from doing her thing. However, the sooner a forest fire is detected, the better opportunity we have at saving a forest’s life. In a recent study, scientists at Michigan State University developed a fire detection system that works by monitoring changes in the movement of trees.
“The self-powered sensing system could continuously monitor the fire and environmental conditions without requiring maintenance after deployment,” said Changyong Cao, lead author of the study.
The recent fires that have blazed through Australia, the Amazon, and various locations are the main force of inspiration behind this venture. Detection measures like satellite monitoring and watchtowers prove to be expensive with a low return of success. Scientists hope this invention will offer a more helpful solution.
The device is known as MC-TENG (multilayered cylindrical triboelectric nanogenerator) and converts the energy created by the movement of trees into electricity. This occurs via the triboelectric effect, a type of electrification formed by separate materials that then come into contact.
According to the study, the device is self-sustained and can be powered by short gusts of wind. Cao and his team are working on designing test systems to continue this work and extend it to application in forests across the globe.
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