Smart Fabric Can Harvest Energy From Sunshine And Motion
The latest development by researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology is a fabric that can simultaneously harvest energy from both sunshine and motion.
(Hybrid power textile)
The team used a commercial textile machine to weave together solar cells constructed from lightweight polymer fibers with fiber-based triboelectric nanogenerators. Using a combination of the triboelectric effect and electrostatic induction, generated a small amount of electrical power from mechanical motion such as rotation, sliding or vibration.
Envisioning a new fabric, Zhong Lin Wang, a Regents professor in the Georgia Tech School of Materials Science and Engineering shared, “This hybrid power textile presents a novel solution to charging devices in the field from something as simple as the wind blowing on a sunny day.” Highly flexible, breathable and light weight they envision the adaptable 320 micrometers thick material to be woven into consumer products like wearable garments and household essentials like curtains.
In his 2005 story Pushing Ice, Alastair Reynolds describes a remarkable fabric that can harvest energy from the movement of the wearer:
Liz Shen's computational needs were handled by her clothes and the kernels of Borderline Intelligence packed into her minimalist jewellery. The clothes and jewellery drew their tiny power requirements from her movements. The computational textiles exchanged data with the environment via rapid subliminal alterations to their colour patterning, too brief to be picked up by the human eye...
(Read more about computational textile)
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