Two young Madison companies with novel ideas for generating electricity are in the latest class of the WERCBench Labs energy-related business accelerator in Milwaukee this fall.

EWPanel and NovoMoto are among seven startups chosen for the 12-week mentorship program that started Aug. 29.

EWPanel’s concept is to create electricity by touch; NovoMoto is bringing solar energy to rural central Africa by powering individual homes and businesses in small doses.

The power of touch

EWPanel has developed a “thin-film nanogenerator,” about the thickness of Scotch tape, said co-founder Chunhua Yao.

“When you touch it with your finger, or walk on it, or press it, it can generate electricity,” Yao said.

The technology that converts motion into electricity is a triboelectric nanogenerator.

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