Fibre based energy harvesting for smart fabrics

20 Oct 2011

Scientists in the US have started work on a new lightweight fabric that can act as a power supply for smart textiles.

The new technique allows scientists to place porous carbon powers in the spaces between fibresCurrent techniques for energy harvesting, such as printed batteries or piezoelectrics, do not generate large amounts of energy. Recent projects in this area have resulted in a small power gain of 6wh for a 12 hour period of exposure to movement or vibration. However a team at Drexel University, Philadelphia, has impregnated regular fabrics with porous carbon powders, which allow ion transfer in the spaces between fibres, reports Chemistry World. These electrodes can store 400-700 times the energy per area of other energy harvesting devices for smart fabrics.

The team hope that with further work, the harvesting technology could be deployed into healthcare and aerospace fields.

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