How would you like it if, other than getting you in style, your outfits could charge your smartphone’s battery for you?
This is the result of promising studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology, as researchers develop a type of fabric that can harness energy from both the sun and the wind and from it generate electrical energy that we can use to power up our devices.
Fabrics generating electricity by using physical movement have been in development for years now. However, combining this innovation with a device similar to solar panels that collect energy from the sun truly ups its level as a viable energy source.
Zhong Lin Wang, a Regents professor in the Georgia Tech School of Materials Science and Engineering, envisions the fabric to be instrumental in the creation of outfits that could conveniently charge or power up devices while in the field. He stated that charging outdoors while on the go could be as simple as walking on a plain on a windy, sunny day.
Magic Fabric Another Solution to Our Search for a Renewable Energy Source
The main component of the project would be fiber-based nanogenerators, which will be complemented by solar cells made of more or less the same, lightweight material. These two components will then be weaved together to create this marvel of a fabric.
The nanogenerators will be triboelectric, which basically means that they can generate electrical power from a wide array mechanical motion. It will be the component responsible for the “wind” part of the equation.
As you can probably imagine, the solar cells will be responsible for the gathering energy from the sun and transforming it into useable energy.
The fabric performed impressively on tests, and may be another candidate in the for an alternative and clean renewable energy source. Zhong Lin Wang and his team have already proven the fabric to be okay with repeated use; as of now they are working on improving its durability.
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