Photovoltaic-piezoelectric fiber uses solar energy and movement to generate electricity
Scientists at Institute for Materials Research and Innovation centre of University of Bolton have developed a hybrid material that combines flexible photovoltaic materials, which harness solar energy, with flexible piezoelectric fibers and generate electricity through movement. The patented technology can be integrated into clothing and personal gadgets and can produce power by harnessing energy from simple actions such as movements and impact of footsteps on the carpet. The technology offers an advanced solution for charging your devices and hence one will not have to worry about the battery of his smartphone and other gadgets. According to the researchers, 20cmx20cm square of this hybrid material is expected to generate about one watt of energy.
One of the most efficient features of the photovoltaic-piezoelectric’ flexible fiber is that it can produce electricity in all weather conditions and environments. Secondly, the fabric looks exactly like a basic material and it can be knitted or woven into larger structures such as curtains, sails and tents. The fabric will be revolutionizing the 3D textile industry and could be used in manufacturing of 3D textile structures such as medical textiles and highly breathable sportswear. This is for the first time that piezoelectric energy is used in 3D textiles.