Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / New fiber nanogenerators could lead to electric clothing
New fiber nanogenerators could lead to electric clothing
16
Feb '10
In research that gives literal meaning to the term "power suit," University of California, Berkeley, engineers have created energy-scavenging nanofibers that could one day be woven into clothing and textiles.

These nano-sized generators have "piezoelectric" properties that allow them to convert into electricity the energy created through mechanical stress, stretches and twists.

"This technology could eventually lead to wearable 'smart clothes' that can power hand-held electronics through ordinary body movements," said Liwei Lin, UC Berkeley professor of mechanical engineering and head of the international research team that developed the fiber nanogenerators.

Because the nanofibers are made from organic polyvinylidene fluoride, or PVDF, they are flexible and relatively easy and cheap to manufacture.

Although they are still working out the exact calculations, the researchers noted that more vigorous movements, such as the kind one would create while dancing the electric boogaloo, should theoretically generate more power. "And because the nanofibers are so small, we could weave them right into clothes with no perceptible change in comfort for the user," said Lin, who is also co-director of the Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center at UC Berkeley.

The goal of harvesting energy from mechanical movements through wearable nanogenerators is not new. Other research teams have previously made nanogenerators out of inorganic semiconducting materials, such as zinc oxide or barium titanate. "Inorganic nanogenerators — in contrast to the organic nanogenerators we created — are more brittle and harder to grow in significant quantities," Lin said.

The tiny nanogenerators have diameters as small as 500 nanometers, or about 100 times thinner than a human hair and one-tenth the width of common cloth fibers. The researchers repeatedly tugged and tweaked the nanofibers, generating electrical outputs ranging from 5 to 30 millivolts and 0.5 to 3 nanoamps.

Furthermore, the researchers report no noticeable degradation after stretching and releasing the nanofibers for 100 minutes at a frequency of 0.5 hertz (cycles per second).

Lin's team at UC Berkeley pioneered the near-field electrospinning technique used to create and position the polymeric nanogenerators 50 micrometers apart in a grid pattern. The technology enables greater control of the placement of the nanofibers onto a surface, allowing researchers to properly align the fiber nanogenerators so that positive and negative poles are on opposite ends, similar to the poles on a battery.

Without this control, the researchers explained, the negative and positive poles might cancel each other out and reducing energy efficiency.

The researchers demonstrated energy conversion efficiencies as high as 21.8 percent, with an average of 12.5 percent.

“Surprisingly, the energy efficiency ratings of the nanofibers are much greater than the 0.5 to 4 percent achieved in typical power generators made from experimental piezoelectric PVDF thin films, and the 6.8 percent in nanogenerators made from zinc oxide fine wires,” said the study's lead author, Chieh Chang, who conducted the experiments while he was a graduate student in mechanical engineering at UC Berkeley.


Must ReadView All

Indian textile & apparel exports fall 13% in Jan 2018

Textiles | On 17th Feb 2018

Indian textile & apparel exports fall 13% in Jan 2018

A decline of 13 per cent year-on-year has been observed in the...

Brazilian cotton prices move up in first fortnight

Textiles | On 17th Feb 2018

Brazilian cotton prices move up in first fortnight

Cotton prices rose in Brazil in the first fortnight of February, as...

Courtesy: OrganoClick

Textiles | On 17th Feb 2018

OrganoClick introduces OrganoTex for water repellency

OrganoClick has introduced OrganoTex, a textile impregnation product...

Interviews View All

Veronique Lee
Modavanti

‘Sustainable fashion is trending upwards, slowly but surely, as people...

Rajiv Sirohi
Shara

‘Portugal is taking away a major share of the mill made sector.’

DK Sharma
Velocity Apparelz

We constantly communicate with employees at all levels

John Kelley

Textile Events is one of the largest textile fair in the United Kingdom,...

Riddhi Jain

Conceived in Europe and curated in New Delhi, NeceSera is a...

Erik Sy

Manila-based CustomThread is a start-up offering premium custom apparel...

Marcel Alberts
Eurofibers

Coating at a fibre level is a practice not usually seen in the...

Urs Stalder
Sanitized AG

Urs Stalder, CEO, Sanitized AG, talks about the increasing use of hygiene...

Kerem Durdag
Biovation II LLC

Kerem Durdag, CEO, Biovation II LLC, provides an insight into future...

Tony Ward
Tony Ward

"You have to truly understand what your client wants, know her needs, what ...

Mike Hoffman
Gildan Activewear SRL

Gildan Activewear, a manufacturer and marketer of branded clothing and...

Amiben Shroff
Shrujan

From its modest beginning in the late 1960s, Shrujan has grown into a...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


editorial@fibre2fashion.com

Letter To Editor






(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies





SEARCH

February 2018

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

news category


Related Categories:

Planning to Take the Leap towards
Sustainability?

Do you see sustainability as a route to business growth?

Yes No

Do you think the sustainability space has the needed tools and resources available for a business to lead change?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you see sustainability as a route to business growth?

Yes
70.0%
No
13.0%
Skip
17.0%

Total Votes: 100

Do you think adopting a sustainable approach will be a profitable move for your business?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you think the sustainability space has the needed tools and resources available for a business to lead change?

Yes
63.0%
No
30.0%
Skip
7.0%

Total Votes: 100

Do you want the world to know about your sustainability journey and your business’ environmental footprint?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you think adopting a sustainable approach will be a profitable move for your business?

Yes
88.0%
No
9.0%
Skip
3.0%

Total Votes: 100

Thanks for your valuable feedback. Claim your free latest sustainability e-book.

Active Poll

Do you want the world to know about your sustainability journey and your business’ environmental footprint?

Yes
83.0%
No
8.0%
Skip
9.0%

Total Votes: 100


E-News Insight
Subscribe Today and Get the
Latest News Update in Your Mail Box.
Advanced Search