New Fabric Can Use Sun and Wind to Power Devices

Sunday, November 20, 2016 - 18:24

Researchers have developed a fabric that can simultaneously harvest energy from both sunshine and motion.

As Science Daily reports, Marty McFly's self-lacing Nikes in the movie Back to the Future II inspired a scientist who has developed filaments that harvest and store the sun's energy and can be woven into textiles.

This breakthrough turn jackets and other clothing into wearable, solar-powered batteries that never need to be plugged in and store energy whenever they're in the sun.

Researchers developed filaments in the form of copper ribbons that are thin, flexible and lightweight. The ribbons have a solar cell on one side and energy-storing layers on the other.

There are a host of other potential uses, including electric cars that could generate and store energy whenever they are in the sun. "A major application could be with our military, and a garment like this can harvest and store energy at the same time if sunlight is available,” said Associate Professor Jayan Thomas, a nanotechnology scientist at the University of Central Florida's NanoScience Technology Center.

The research was published Nov. 11 in the academic journal Nature Communications.

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