Scientists convert body heat to electric power

Scientists at Wake Forest University in the USA have come up with a new technology, now called Power Felt that can convert body heat to electricity. The invention is still in its infancy but definitely has a huge potential the researchers say.

Power Felt consists of carbon nanotubes that get integrated into plastic. Once integrated the whole thing feels like regular fabric. As a thermoelectric device it functions and creates a charge by leveraging temperature differences says Wake Forest University researcher Corey Hewitt.

“Generally thermoelectrics are an underdeveloped technology for harvesting energy. There is so much opportunity,” Hewitt said. “We waste a lot of energy in the form of heat. For example, recapturing a car’s energy waste could help improve fuel mileage and power the radio, air conditioning or navigation system.”

Power Felt

Power Felt is also very flexible – it can be used for charging mobile phones and flashlights while on a bigger scale it may help reduce electricity bills.

“I imagine being able to make a jacket with a completely thermoelectric inside liner that gathers warmth from body heat, while the exterior remains cold from the outside temperature,” Hewitt said. “If the Power Felt is efficient enough, you could potentially power an iPod, which would be great for distance runners. It’s definitely within reach.”

Being an early design Power Felt currently cannot power devices. At this time the researchers have been able to stack 72 layers of carbon nanotubes, which deliver 140 nanowatts of power. They are now working on ways to add more layers and make the layers thinner to achieve greater power output. One day, they hope that Power Felt could only cost 1 USD to be added to a cellphone.

Power Felt may soon be produced commercially depending on ongoing talks with investors.


Source: Tom’s Hardware

Related posts

Huawei Mulan specs leaked on the Internet

Huawei Mulan specs leaked on the Internet

The popular smartphone benchmark AnTuTu has become the reason for another smartphone specs leak. This time the victim is the upcoming Huawei Mulan flagship smartphone so let’s see what it has to offer. The first interesting thing is that the Huawei Mulan is based on the still unannounced 28...

GlacialTech UFO V51 Cooler For Core i7

GlacialTech has a rather interesting CPU cooler design that looks like an UFO made up of 2 silent fans, 4 heat-pipes, aluminium fins and a plastic encase. There are 2 versions; UFO 51 Silent and UFO 51 PWM where the difference is just on the fans. The coolers are slated for launch on 20th...

Spire launches fans with nano-ceramic bearings

Spire has added a new fan series to its product list that for the first time ever features nano-ceramic bearings. According to Spire the new nano-ceramic bearings are more reliable, silent and durable that any type of bearing the company has released so far. The first member of the new...

Leave a comment