Scientists from the University of South Carolina have invented a T-shirt making battery capable of charging laptops and other mobile electronic devices in the near future.
Researchers have indeed managed to turn a T-Shirt in supercapacitor by a simple and inexpensive process:
The cotton T-shirt is dipped in a sodium fluoride solution for one hour. It is then dried in an oven for 3 hours, then heated for 1 hour in an oven at a higher temperature. supercapacitor Textilea this stage, the cotton is then converted into activated carbon textile while retaining flexibility.
The t-shirt is then covered with a layer of metal nano-manganese oxide to form a flexible supercapacitor clothing and able to store energy to power mobile devices.
Energy storage for flexible electronics
Like all supercapacitors, the T-shirt is capable of providing a high power energy to quickly recharge electronic devices. It thus serves as a high-power battery with a long life because after 1000 charge / discharge cycles, the T-shirt supercapacitor retains 97.3% of its charge capacity.
Through this process of manufacture at low cost, it is possible to consider the use of cotton for energy storage in flexible electronics, rollable displays or implanted medical devices.
Energy production on a flexible support already exists
It's good to store energy in your T-shirt, but it's really only useful if the T-shirt becomes producer of electricity.
The photovoltaic film
There are solutions thanks to flexible photovoltaic film and even transparent. Several technologies now allow to create such power generators films: the photovoltaic thin layer (second generation solar cells) and organic photovoltaics (solar cells of third generation). For more information: http://www.filmphotovoltaique.com/ (in French).
With organic photovoltaics, it is even possible to print solar cells directly on plastic or fabric.
Another source of energy can be used to power supercapacitor clothes electricity: piezoelectricity.
The piezoelectricity transforms pressure exerted on a piezoelectric electric material. The Orange company has used this principle to create the T-Shirt "Sound Charge", capable of generating electricity from pressure from sound waves. Tested at the Glastonbury festival, this T-shirt has generated enough electricity during the festive weekend to recharge two basic mobile phones. Sound Load shirt to recharge a mobile phone in festival.
Clothes as a source of energy nomad, it's coming. Today, electronics are flexible and even stretchable. His power will be increasingly autonomous through local renewable energy production and integrated energy storage with flexible supercapacitors.