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

ADATA releases XPG SX930 SSD line

ADATA releases XPG SX930 SSD line

The Taiwanese manufacturer of solid-state drives and computer memory ADATA has released the new XPG SX930 line of 2.5-inch, SATA 3.0, gaming solid-state drives, designed for hardware enthusiasts and overclockers. The main feature of the new SSD line is performance – the drives in the line...

Corsair Dominator GT is the fastest Intel XMP-certified memory

Corsair, a worldwide leader in high performance computer and flash memory products, today announced that the 6GB Dominator GT 2000MHz CAS 8 has passed Intel's XMP-Ready certification for Core i7 Extreme Edition processors, making it the fastest memory kit to gain Intel's stamp of...

MSI announces Cubi mini PC

MSI announces Cubi mini PC

MSI has announced a new mini PC that goes by the trade name of Cubi. The new mini PC is designed for people who want to have powerful yet small-sized computers for both work and entertainment. The main feature of Cubi is the small size – the machine is housed in a chassis that can hold up to...

Leave a comment