Electrifying Fabrics

Wearable power is on the top of my search list and each time I stumble across news out of the research kitchen I can not help but to share the latest news.

Undeniable, wearable power, using materials that act and look like ordinary fabric that either generates or stores electrical energy will ultimately be THE killer application, or I should say killer material, humanity is able to create.

Kinetic energy harvesting and energy storage with a material like fabric not only can electrify our outfit it will open much more doors to electricity production, storage and uses in areas we can only dream off today.

Textile surfaces on sofas, chairs or car seats that generate electricity just by sitting on them, the same seat covers acting as battery ….. curtains which not only give privacy or shade but recharge all kind of electronic devices around.

OK – down to reality and a very promising development by a team of Scientists at the Drexel University. Lead Scientist Yury Gogotsi and his colleagues propose to impregnate woven Cotton or Polyester fabric with porous carbon powder to transform these fabrics into electrical super capacitors to store electrical energy.

The nature of porous carbon powder provides a very large surface area on a tiny powder grain, essentially increasing the capacity of such formed super electrodes by a factor of 400-700 times compared to previously reported storage capacity over the same surface area.

The carbon powder can be applied by printing or dip-coating of woven fabric as well whereby the powder is filling the natural spaces between the fibers in the yarn and between yarn strands in a woven structure. This process is not altering the feel of the fabric significantly.

That all sounds great and simple but as most of the research studies – there are still some practical issues to be solved before this (and many other wearable power technologies) can be scaled up for volume production.

[via: EE Times]


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