Phone out of battery and nowhere to charge? Not too far in the future the clothing you wear could well be your charger if researchers at the Nottingham Trent University can commercialise the innovative e-textile that they have developed.
- The research led by Dr Theodore Hughes-Riley, Associate Professor of Electronic Textiles at NTU has resulted in the development of an innovative e-textile which is embedded with 1,200 photovoltaic cells.
- The cells, when combined together, are capable of harnessing 400 milliwatts (mWatts) of electrical energy from the sun. It's enough to charge a basic mobile phone or smartwatch.
- The breathable and flexible e-textile can be incorporated into clothing and accessories, ensuring that you will never be without a charge again.
The e-textile behaves like any other piece of fabric and can handle washing at 40°C (104°F). This is possible because of the waterproof polymer resin that wraps the 5 by 1.5 mm photovoltaic cells.
WHAT THEY SAID:
This prototype gives an exciting glimpse of the future potential for e-textiles. Until now very few people would have considered that their clothing or textiles products could be used for generating electricity. Electronic textiles really have the potential to change people’s relationship with technology, as this prototype shows how we could do away with charging many devices at the wall. This is an exciting development which builds on previous technologies we have made and illustrates how it can be scaled up to generate more power.
— Dr Theodore Hughes-Riley
Associate Professor, Electronic Textiles
Nottingham Trent University