Date of Award

August 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Food Science and Human Nutrition

Committee Member

Greg S Batt

Committee Member

James Gibert

Committee Member

Duncan Darby

Committee Member

Oliver Myers


As data creation and collection continues to increase globally, the number of sensors needed to gather data also grows. One thing all types of sensors have in common is their need for power; however, current power sources, like batteries, are limited by their life, size, and weight. To reduce these power limitations, triboelectric energy generators (TENGs) can be used to generate power from the mechanical motion that is present throughout packaged product transport. Triboelectric generation is one such low power mechanism that due to its low cost, has potential in packaging applications. In the distribution environment, packaged products are exposed to a wide range of temperatures and relative humidities. It is important to know how the relative humidities and temperatures seen in packaging distribution environments affect the voltage output of triboelectric energy generators. In order to study relative humidity and temperature effect on TENGs, we mount an optimized triboelectric generator to an electrodynamic shaker located inside an environmental chamber and measure voltage output. This set up allows us to replicate sinusoidal vibration inputs over a wide range of environmental conditions. We found that as relative humidity increases, TENG’s root mean square (RMS) voltage output remains essentially the same, and as temperature increases, the TENG’s RMS voltage output also remains basically same. We also determined that charge build up is not affected by relative humidity and temperatures found within the packaging distribution environment and that steady state takes longer to establish than a few hundred seconds.



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