Smart Materials Market to Grow with New Innovation that Converts Body Movements into Electricity
Posted On June 16, 2022
Many attempts have been made to create fabric or clothes that can harvest energy from movement. Still, one of the most difficult challenges has been to create something that does not decline in function after being washed while maintaining excellent electrical output.
A research team has created a flexible, water-resistant "fabric" that converts the energy generated by bodily movements into electrical energy. A polymer is a major contributor in the fabric because it turns mechanical stress into electrical energy when pressed or compressed. The innovation could also revolutionize the Smart Materials Market as the materials come with a base layer of elastic spandex and a rubber-like material to keep them sturdy, flexible, and waterproof.
The team demonstrated that tapping on a 3cm by 4cm patch of the new fabric generated electrical energy sufficient to light up 100 LEDs in a proof-of-concept demonstration. The cloth did not degrade in performance whether crumpled, folded, or washed, and it could sustain a constant electrical output for up to five months.
The research showed that the novel prototype still works after being washed and crumpled. The team expects it to be weaved into t-shirts or built into the soles of shoes to capture energy from the body's slightest movements and pipe it to mobile devices.
The created electricity-generating fabric is an energy harvesting technology that converts vibrations produced by even the tiniest body movements into power. The prototype fabric employs two ways to produce electricity -
When it is crushed or squished (piezoelectricity), and
When it comes into touch or is in friction with other materials, such as skin or rubber gloves (triboelectric effect)
The researchers demonstrated that it could harness energy from various human movements while not affecting the movements. This was done by attaching the fabric to the arm, leg, hand, elbow, and insoles 3 of the shoes.
Despite increased battery size and lower power use, wearable gadget power sources still necessitate regular battery replacements. The present findings reveal that the vibration-harvesting prototype fabric can potentially improve the life of a battery. Further, it may even be used to create self-powered systems by harvesting vibration energy from a human. This is the first-of-its-kind hybrid perovskite-based energy device that is stable, waterproof, breathable, stretchy, and capable of producing exceptional electrical output.