Self-powered on-line ion concentration monitor in water transportation driven by triboelectric nanogenerator

Chen Chen, Zhen Wen*, Aimin Wei, Xinkai Xie, Ningning Zhai, Xuelian Wei, Mingfa Peng, Yina Liu, Xuhui Sun, John T.W. Yeow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Ion concentration in water is a key criterion for evaluating water quality. In this work, we developed a self-powered on-line ion concentration monitor in water transportation based on impedance matching effect of triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG). A rotary disc-shaped TENG (RD-TENG) and an ion concentration sensor were fabricated based on the industrial printed circuit board (PCB) technology. Flowing water in the pipeline acts as the energy source to drive the RD-TENG and generate an open-circuit (Voc) of 210 V. The ion concentration sensor exhibits a nearly pure resistance characteristic under the alternating current (AC) signal with the frequency below 500 Hz, corresponding to the rotation speed of 250 rpm for the RD-TENG. The impedance matching relationship between the RD-TENG and the ion concentration sensor was experimentally studied and applied to elucidate the sensing mechanism. Finally, a self-powered sensing system integrated with an alarm circuit was assembled which exhibits excellent responsibility and high sensitivity. The change of ion concentration with only 1 × 10−5 mol/L can light up an alarm LED.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-448
Number of pages7
JournalNano Energy
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


  • Impedance matching effect
  • Ion concentration monitor
  • On-line
  • Self-powered
  • Triboelectric nanogenerator

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