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Researchers Weave Electricity Generating Textiles

If you thought Rumpelstiltskin’s ability to weave straw into gold was impressive, take a look at what researchers at the University of Georgia have just accomplished.  Using a commercial textile machine, the school’s scientists wove lightweight polymer fibers with electric nanogenerators to transform what appears to be a simple piece of cloth into a hybrid solar and wind energy generator. 

While fabric that generates electricity from kinetic energy has already been created, the addition of a wind-powered component was a first.  The lead scientist on the project, Zhong Lin Wang, foresees a broad range of applications.  “The fabric is highly flexible, breathable, light weight and adaptable for a range of uses,” he stated.

The manufacturing process is also environmentally- and cost-friendly, meaning that large-scale distribution will be simple to accomplish. 

In one test, the researchers took a 4x5 centimeter piece of cloth and attached it to a rod so it could hang out the window of a moving car.  The fabric responded incredibly, charging a 2 mF commercial capacitor to two volts in just one minute.

Read the full story here.

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