View Full Version : Fabric That Converts Body Heat Into Electricity

Ron Czapala
02-25-2012, 01:40 PM

Researchers Create Fabric That Converts Body Heat Into Electricity

We've all heard of solar power and wind power, but researchers at Wake Forest are developing another alternative form of power: thermoelectrics. They've created a fabric -- comprised of tiny carbon nanotubes -- that can convert body heat into an electric charge.

The device, called Power Felt, uses temperature differences to create electricity.

“We waste a lot of energy in the form of heat. For example, recapturing a car’s energy waste could help improve fuel mileage and power the radio, air conditioning or navigation system,” graduate student Corey Hewitt Hewitt says. “Generally thermoelectrics are an underdeveloped technology for harvesting energy, yet there is so much opportunity.”

How might we see Power Felt used in practical applications? The researchers say it could line car seats for a battery boost or line clothing garments to power devices that monitor performance or your iPod -- among other uses.

“Imagine it in an emergency kit, wrapped around a flashlight, powering a weather radio, charging a prepaid cellphone,” says David Carroll, director of the Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials and head of the team leading this research. “Literally, just by sitting on your phone, Power Felt could provide relief during power outages or accidents.”

The researchers are still looking for ways to improve the device, but the university is also in talks with investors to bring Power Felt to the market.

02-25-2012, 02:59 PM
Any idea of the watts it will make if fully covered on a person?

Ron Czapala
02-25-2012, 03:08 PM
No details...
Video link http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/23/power-felt-could-charge-phone-body-heat_n_1297580.html

02-26-2012, 04:58 AM
If some amazing new device mentions carbon nanotubes as a primary ingredient, run away! Far, far away!

Carbon nanotubes have proved themselves to be the new string theory by not doing much of anything.

Clock Loop
02-26-2012, 11:29 PM
Peltier heat type energy generation methods sprayed onto a material that is cloth,
would do similar if not more efficient conversion.

But you won't see either, just like you won't see the laser hard drive that can store petabytes of info, with technology available today. Until you work for a company that is in a specific industry, when you invent a device that would out-date all other items in that industry, they panic and then don't develop at all.

It is only internally developed for darpa and other uses, just like the photonic (band gap 3d crystal) processors that intel has been developing for the past 10 years.

You are a domesticated human in the domesticated grid.