Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed fabric that can generate energy from solar and wind.
This technology could lead to devices such as phones or GPSs being charged by garments that can hold energy within their fabric.
Professor at the Georgia Tech School of Material Sciences and Engineering, Zhong Lin Wang, stated that this could make it even simpler to recharge batteries when on the go.
“This hybrid power textile presents a novel solution to charging devices in the field from something as simple as the wind blowing on a sunny day.”
The fabric was created by combining solar cells produced from lightweight polymer fibers with fiber-based triboelectric nanogenerators which can harvest energy and convert it into external mechanical energy that can generate electricity.
The triboelectric nanogenerators are crucial to the fabric, as any movement such as sliding, vibration or rotation can produce energy.
Wang believes that the cloth could be integrated into many different types of designs such as tents, curtains or even clothes.
“The fabric is highly flexible, breathable, lightweight and adaptable to a range of uses.”
The material is made from common, inexpensive and environmental-friendly materials, indicating that these could be mass-produced easily for a manufacturing organisation.
Although early tests of the cloth seem prominent, the development of the fabric will depend on the materials being durable enough for wearers to use frequently and protecting the electrical pieces from water.