Power Felt – a wearable power generator

Imagine your clothing charges all your smart devices by just putting them into a pocket.

Imagine you do not have to do anything to generate the electrical power – no need to run around, just sit there and let the magic happen.

Sounds like alien technology from the latest SciFi flick but thanks to nano technology and a team of researchers at the Wake Forest University’s Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials this dream could be in reach well within our lifetime.

Named the Power Felt, this wearable power wonder works on the thermoelectric principle, converting temperature differences into electrical energy. The Power Felt consists of carbon nano-tubes locked up in flexible plastic fibers which can be woven to create textile like fabric.

To activate the power (felt) generator, a slight difference in temperature say touching the fabric with a finger which represents a temperature difference between the environment and the usually higher body temperature starts the power generation.

Using thermo coupling for electricity generation is not a new idea but Corey Hewitt, a graduate student at Wake Forest and member of the Power Felt team points out that the cost of the Power Felt can be as little as a dollar to cover a cellphone case which can double as grid independent charger.

[source: PopSci via Dvice]

2 Comments


  1. A company that I worked for back in the early 70’s was looking into generating power by taking advantage of the thermal gradient in an ocean or other bodies of water.

    The idea was to sin a long rod of some sort into the body of water and run a small turbine or other device from the differential.

    Evadently the technology of the time rendered this infeasible. As nothing ever came of it.

    It would seem that these nano elements would stand a much greater chance of achieving success.

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