Sep 16, 2016
Now, fabric that can directly charge cell phones
Sep 16, 2016
Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have created a unique type of fabric that can harvest energy simultaneously from sunshine and mechanical movement. This micro-cable power textile can generate electricity using two sources and can be used for directly charging a number of portable devices such as a cell phone or an electric watch.
The hybrid power fabric can be utilised in various types of cloths, tents and curtains as it is breathable, lightweight, flexible and adaptable. Researchers have found that the fabric can withstand rigorous use and they are going to carry out further tests to find out about its durability.
It can charge devices using wind and solar energy, according to Zhong Lin Wang, regents professor, Georgia Tech School of Materials Science and Engineering, who is a part of the team that developed this fabric. According to the study published on Nature journal, the team of scientists used a shuttle-flying process with fibre-based triboelectric nanogenerators to weave solar cells made from lightweight polymer fibres into micro cables to create the smart fabric.
The nanogenerators capture the energy created when materials get electrically charged on coming in contact with another material, while wire-shaped photoanodes that can be woven together with other fibres are responsible for harvesting solar energy. A piece of this fabric measuring 4cm by 5cm could charge a 2mF commercial capacitor up to 2V in about a minute when exposed to sunlight during a mechanical activity.
Scientists are also slated to carry out research for optimising the fabric to protect its components from moisture and rain.
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