Powering your iPod or cell phone could soon become as easy as plugging it into your T-shirt or jeans, for scientists are developing a “power suit” which they claim could charge hand-held electronic equipment.
An international team, led by California University, has created energy-scavenging nanofibres that could be woven into clothing and textiles.
According to the scientists, these nanofibres can convert energy from mechanical stresses and into electricity, and could one day be used to create clothing that can power small electronics.
In fact the nano-sized generators have “piezoelectric” properties which allow them to convert into electricity the energy created through mechanical stress, stretches or twists.
“This technology could eventually lead to wearable ’smart clothes’ that can power hand-held electronics through ordinary body movements,” The Daily Telegraph quoted Liwei Lin, who led the team that developed the fibre nanogenerators, as saying.
Because the nanofibres are made from organic polyvinylidene fluoride they are flexible and relatively easy and cheap to manufacture, say the scientists.
Although they are still working out the exact calculations, the team claims that more vigorous movements, such as the kind one would create while dancing should theoretically generate more power.
“And because the nanofibres are so small, we could weave them right into clothes with no perceptible change in comfort for the user,” Mr. Lin said.