Scientists at the University of California in the United States have designed a garment that allows the wearer to operate small devices such as watches through exercise and sweat.
Just as community microgrids can generate energy and self-sufficiency on their own, humans can also have their own Micro-person, We will be able to use the energy generated by the human body to power electronic devices.
The idea was created by a team of nano engineers from Namibia University of California, (UC) the result Exposed in a magazine Nature Communications. They say that their technology is directly based on these community microgrids.
The co-author of the study said: “We are using the concept of microgrids to create portable systems that can operate continuously, safely and independently.” Lu Yin, From the Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California, San Diego.
“Just like the microgrid in the city integrates various local renewable energy sources (such as wind and solar energy), the portable microgrid integrates devices that can locally collect energy from different parts of the body, such as sweat and exercise, and they store energy at the same time.” , He explained.
To prove its performance, the team conducted a 30-minute test on a person, including letting him run or pedal for 10 minutes, and then rest for 20 minutes.Simply through this exercise, the shirt provides enough energy to run normally Digital watch Or activate an electrochromic screen (a device that changes color in response to a specific voltage).
The so-called “portable microgrid” is printed on a T-shirt with flexible and washable pieces-yes, no detergent-the so-called “portable microgrid” works from three main aspects: sweat-driven organisms Fuel cells, friction generators driven by supercapacitors for motion and storage. Each part is screen printed on the shirt and positioned in a way that optimizes the energy collected.
Two complementary systems to generate energy
on the one hand, Biofuel cell They are located in the chest area inside the shirt. They are equipped with enzymes that trigger the exchange of electrons between lactic acid and oxygen molecules in human sweat to generate electricity. These batteries provide low voltage direct current.
on the other hand, Friction generator They are made of a negatively charged material placed on the forearm and a positively charged material placed on the side of the torso at the waist. When the arm swings against the torso while walking or running, the oppositely charged matter generates electricity and sends out high-voltage pulses.
At last, Super capacitorPlaced on the chest area outside the clothes, it is used to temporarily store the energy obtained from the other two devices. Then, they download the file as needed to power small connected electronic devices.
The researchers combined two energy sources to enable the shirt to run in rapid succession. The movement of the body transmits electric current almost instantaneously, and the electric current in sweat can provide energy even after the user stops exercising.
This system Startup is twice as fast and lasts three times longer Rather than a separate system. “When the two are added together, they can make up for each other’s shortcomings. “They are complementary and synergistic, and can start quickly and continue to provide power. Yin explained.
To illustrate its operation, the author compares it with the water supply system. Imagine that the biofuel cell is like a slow-flowing faucet, and the friction generator is like a hose that sprays water. The super capacitor can supply water or pump water from the water tank as needed. “
Nano engineers pointed out that the main innovation of this work is not the portable device itself, but the systematic and efficient integration of all devices.although a priori Is designed for athletes and athletes, researchers believe that this technology has Unlimited possibilities. Therefore, they announced that they are developing other designs that can harvest energy in different situations (for example, when the user is sitting in an office).
“We are not limited to this design. “We can adapt the system by choosing different types of energy harvesters for different situations,” Yin concluded.
Lu Yin et al. “A self-sustainable wearable multi-module electronic textile bio-energy microgrid system”. Nature Communications (2021)