What if just wearing clothes could help you generate energy? A team from Georgia Institute of Technology is currently working on this concern. These scientists created a brand new type of fabric that collects at the same time solar and motion energy.
This technology works thanks to the triboelectric effect: when two materials friction, they generate electric energy you can collect. Hence, some nano-generators made with fibers and solar cells were woven with some wool in order to create this new fabric.
In order to test this technology, the scientists hung a small flag of 4x5cm made with this fabric to a car window. The results were encouraging, even if the weather was cloudy. In only one minute, the fabric collected enough energy to supply power for some small electronic devices. There is an important advantage with this material: it is flexible, so easy to incorporate into other textile elements like pieces of clothing, tents or even curtains. Moreover, it is easy to create and cheap.
The research on this fabric is not finished yet. Work still has to be done on how to improve its durability and to protect its electronic components from humidity and other external elements.