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Fibers harvest energy from movement

Posted by on Nov 16, 2008 in Aesthetics, eTextiles, New technologies, Power | 2 Comments

On the never-ending quest to find an alternative source of power that is efficient and portable, researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology are exploring piezoelectric zinc oxide nanowires that harvest energy from the wearer’s natural movement. Here’s how they describe it on nanoarchitecture.net:

“The researchers constructed pairs of textile fibers covered with piezoelectric zinc oxide nanowires that generate electricity in response to applied mechanical stress. The resulting current flow from many fiber pairs woven into a shirt or jacket could allow the wearer’s body movement to power a range of portable electronic devices.”

Now, imagine if the nanowires are woven into energy-generating textiles that are seamlessly integrated directly into the aesthetics, cut, and flow of a garment.

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2 Comments

  1. nancy
    November 16, 2008

    This is the coolest idea yet. Imagine the textiles and garments you could make that would house your iPod, cell phone and other electronics, which could be energized by the textile itself. This is so Star Trek! I love it!

  2. Bro
    November 19, 2008

    I proposed an idea like this for an elite range of product at work, but was unable to convey the coolness of this kind of material. It would be great if an entire garment would act as an energy system; high abrassion zones for static energy production, high heat zones for thermal and neutral zones for storage. great find.

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