Electricity is Generated by Energy Harvesting Yarns

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Amazing research is done by the team of the scientists at The University of Texas at Dallas and Hanyang University in South Korea. The team of both universities generates a high-tech yearns and the unique thing is that when they are stretched or twisted they generate electricity.

This study is published in the Aug. 25 issue of the journal “Science” and in this study, the scientists elaborate “twistron” yarns and their conceivable applications. And these applications are the harvesting energy from the moving waves of oceans or from the oscillations of temperature. When these yarns are sewn into a shirt then the yarns worked as self-powered breathing monitor.

Dr. Carter Haines, the associate research professor in the Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute at UT Dallas and co-lead author of this article said: “The easiest way to think of twistron harvesters is, you have a piece of yarn, you stretch it, and out comes electricity.”

The researchers from South Korea, Virginia Tech, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and China also put their part in this research.

The researchers said that to get electricity from these yarns these must be either plugged in or smeared with an ionically conducting material, or electrolyte, and this is as simple as we mix water and salt.

Dr. Na Li the research scientist at the NanoTech Institute and co-lead author of the study said: “Fundamentally, these yarns are supercapacitors. In a normal capacitor, you use energy like from battery to odd charges to the capacitor. But in our case, when you insert the carbon nanotube yarn into an electrolyte bath, the yarns are charged by the electrolyte itself. No external battery, or voltage, is needed.”

Director of the NanoTech Institute and corresponding author of the study Dr. Ray Baughman said to generate 250 watts per kilogram of peak electrical power you need to stretch the coiled yarn 30 times a second when regularized to the harvester’s weight.

Dr. Ray further said: “Although numerous alternative harvesters have been investigated for many decades, no other reported harvester provides such high electrical power or energy output per cycle as ours for stretching rates between a few cycles per second and 600 cycles per second.”

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