Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica

Clean Power

New Solar-Piezoelectric Hybrid Fiber Makes Clean Energy as Easy as Putting on a T-Shirt

scientiests develop new fiber that harvests solar, wind, rain, and piezoelectric energyScientists at the University of Bolton in the U.K. have come up with a new fiber that can harvest energy from the wind, rain, sun, and even body movements. The lightweight, flexible material could be used to make self-charging casings for laptops, phones, and other portable devices, and it could lend itself to many other uses from clothes to camping gear. The researchers have embarked on a three-year project to develop and commercialize the new fiber with researchers in China.

A New Piezoelectric Fiber

Piezoelectricity refers to a charge that is created when certain crystalline structures are subjected to stress or pressure. Micro scale piezoelectric devices can be used to harvest energy from relatively small vibrations. On a macro scale, many surfaces that are subjected to variable pressure – from highways and train station platforms to dance floors – can generate piezoelectric energy. One limiting factor has been the rigidity of piezoelectric devices, but  the Bolton scientists have developed a way to weave piezoelectric capability into a flexible structure that lends itself to a wider variety of uses.

Piezoelectricity Goes Mainstream

Piezoelectricity may sound somewhat exotic right now, but it is just steps away from the mainstream: Energy Harvesting Journal reports that the U.S. military is developing a real-time remote sensor system that run on piezoelectric technology. Along with military applications, wireless energy-scavenging sensors can be used to monitor the reliability of bridges and other infrastructure, and their use could become widespread in many other areas.

Solar-Piezoelectric Hybrid Fiber

With piezoelectric capability, the researchers claim that the new fiber can harvest energy from wind and rain, and from human-derived activity such as carrying a laptop in its case. You could almost hear them thinking “Hmmm…why not!” when they decided to develop solar-capable version of the fiber, too.  They also envision using the fiber to construct a stationary tree-like, all-weather energy harvesting structure. As a next step, they are beginning to test the fiber for its potential to collect low-speed ocean tidal energy, too.

Image: Laundry by mysza831 on flickr.com.

 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
 

Advertisement
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

Tina specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

Comments

#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.

 

Support our work today!

Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Clean Transport

The electric vehicle revolution is here, just in time to wipe noisy, smelly, polluting diesel and gasoline delivery vans and trucks off the e-commerce...

Cleantech News

The US Department of Defense has set its sights on next-generation recycling technology for military operations in the field.

Aviation

Renewable fuel from air and water are on the menu for a supersonic, next-generation version of Air Force executive aircraft. Could that include Air...

Clean Power

With the infrastructure bill finally in the rear view mirror, the solar industry is still missing one key piece of the puzzle.

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.