Georgia Institute of Technology Develops Energy Harvesting Textile
Fabrics that can generate electricity from physical movement have been in the works for a few years. Now researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology have taken the next step, developing a fabric that can simultaneously harvest energy from both sunshine and motion.
Combining two types of electricity generation into one textile paves the way for developing garments that could provide their own source of energy to power devices such as smart phones or global positioning systems.
“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,” said Zhong Lin Wang, a Regents professor in the Georgia Tech School of Materials Science and Engineering.
To make the fabric, Wang’s team used a commercial textile machine to weave together solar cells constructed from lightweight polymer fibers with fiber-based triboelectric nanogenerators.
Triboelectric nanogenerators use a combination of the triboelectric effect and electrostatic induction to generate small amount of electrical power from mechanical motion such as rotation, sliding or vibration. The research was reported September 12 in the Nature Energy.
Wang envisions that the new fabric, which is 320 micrometers thick woven together with strands of wool, could be integrated into tents, curtains or wearable garments. “The fabric is highly flexible, breathable, light weight and adaptable to a range of uses,” Wang said.
Fiber-based triboelectric nanogenerators capture the energy created when certain materials become… Read More Here.
Author | Josh Brown
Source | http://www.news.gatech.edu/