Web Exclusive | September 2016
Fabric harvests solar energy!
Georgia Tech researchers have reported the development of micro-cable textile that harvests energy from sun and mechanical motion, according to a team led by Professor Zhong Lin Wang, Regents Professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at Georgia Tech.
Solar cells made from polymeric fibres were woven into fabric with triboelectric fibrous nanogenerators using a common weaving method. According to the researchers, the tribogenerators use triboelectricity and electrostatic induction phenomena to generate energy from movements. For harvesting energy from sun, photoanodes that could be woven with fibres were used.
With regard to applications, Professor Wang envisions that the fabric that is 320 micron thick with woolen yarns can be integrated with other structures such as wearable garments. These smart textiles can power electric watches and charge a cell phone.
By: Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA