The hot contested wearable power sector looks like to get a massive power boost with the Power Flex, a piezoelectric nano wire generator developed by Professor Zhong Lin Wang, director of the Center for Nanostructure Characterization at Georgia Tech.
Last time we posted about Professor Zhong Lin Wang’s wearable power research, he worked on nano technology enhanced piezo fibers which one day can turn our clothing into electrical power generators by harvesting our body movements.
Converting mechanical forces like stretch or pressure via Piezo electric materials into electrical power is a long standing technology but the efficiency of these Piezo electric devices generate only a very tiny amount of electricity, barley enough for low power sensors.
Professor Wang’s latest development, embedding tiny piezoelectric nanowires in flexible materials made it possible to fabricate nanowire-based generators that can harvest sufficient mechanical energy to power small devices, including light-emitting diodes and a liquid-crystal display.
This development represents a powerful breakthrough for wearable power generating materials, indicating that soon there we could see materials capable to generate enough power for devices like personal audio player or cell phones to be charged from nothing else than our clothing.