17 August 2010

Energy harvesting smart textiles could power pcs

Scientists at the University of Southampton are developing technology that may enable people to power mp3 players and other devices through their clothes and the carpets they walk on.

Dr Steve Beeby (pictured) and his team at the University's School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) aim to generate energy through people's movement, eliminating the need to change batteries on devices.

In a project funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Southampton team will use rapid printing processes and active printed inks to create an energy harvesting film in textiles. This film can also be printed on carpets, enabling individuals to generate energy as they walk around the home or office.

"This project looks at generating electrical power from the way people move and then applying an energy harvesting film to the clothes they wear or the materials they have around them," says Dr Beeby. "We will generate useful levels of power which will be harvested through the films in the textiles. The two big challenges in smart textiles are supplying power and surviving washing."

The research, which begins in October and runs until 2015, will provide a toolbox of materials and processes suitable for a range of different fabrics that will enable users to develop the energy harvesting fabric best suited to their requirements.

Applications for the research include using the energy to power wireless health monitoring systems, as well as consumer products such as mp3 players. Applications also exist in the automotive sector.

The underlying sensor technology, which will make the energy harvesting process possible, is being developed by Dr Beeby and his team through the Microflex project, a Framework 7 European Union funded project due to finish in November 2012.

Author
Chris Shaw

Supporting Information

Websites
http://gow.epsrc.ac.uk/ViewGrant.aspx?GrantRef=EP/I005323/1

Companies
University of Southampton

This material is protected by Findlay Media copyright
See Terms and Conditions.
One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not.
For multiple copies contact the sales team.

Do you have any comments about this article?

It says, the aim is to generate energy through people's movement. By this are you planning to 'harvest' energy through use of piezoelectric chips? or heat sensitive components?
(asking for basic principle only)

Regards,
Manraj


Comment Manraj Singh Gujral, 20/08/2010

Add your comments

Name
 
Email
 
Comments
 

Your comments/feedback may be edited prior to publishing. Not all entries will be published.
Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Related Articles

Altera gets 14nm test chips

Altera ruffled some industry feathers in February 2013 when it announced that ...

Hardened DSP blocks for FPGAs

Responding to the increasingly demanding task of designing floating point DSP ...

Fine pitch Cu bumps used

Altera says it is the first company to adopt TSMC's fine pitch copper bump ...

Power electronics challenges

There isn't a sector of the electronics industry that operates without the use ...

Preview: PCIM Europe 2014

Tim Fryer looks forward to the upcoming PCIM exhibition and conference, taking ...

A/D converters get it right

Successive approximation A/D converters, with resolutions of up to 18bit and ...

Power electronics in EVs

This whitepaper presents a review of power electronics systems in electric ...

NI Trend Watch 2014

This report from National Instruments summarises the latest trends in the ...

EV power electronics

This whitepaper from Altera describes the benefits of using fpga based control ...

Shunt voltage reference

The ZXRE330 3.3V shunt voltage reference from Diodes has been introduced to ...

Half and full-bridge drivers

The industry's first small form factor half and full-bridge drivers have been ...

Dual DC/DC converters

Linear Technology has announced the LT8471, a dual DC/DC converter that ...

Future World Symposium 2014

29th - 30th April 2014, Twickenham Stadium, London

PCIM Europe 2014 Conference

20th – 22nd May 2014, Nuremburg, Germany

SENSOR + TEST 2014

3rd - 5th June 2014, The measurement fair, Nürnberg Exhibition Centre, Germany

Class 0.1 metering SoC

Discover TI's Class 0.1, metering System-On-Chip Evaluation Boards: ...

When to use a pre-driver

What is the difference between a pre-driver and an integrated motor driver and ...

Motor diagnostics innovations

Texas Instruments Innovator Tim Adcock explains in the latest whiteboard video ...

Packing a powerful punch

Power is back when it comes to industrial system performance and efficiency. ...

Smartwatches and Sir Clive

All the excitement about smartwatches brings to mind the Sinclair Wrist ...

You will buy a smartwatch

The announcement yesterday by Google that it is extending Android into the ...

Terence Watson

Ask Terence Watson about power electronics and you're left in no doubt of his ...

Gregg Lowe, Freescale

Freescale's new ceo tells Graham Pitcher that, while he's not 'dancing' yet, ...

Menno Treffers, WPC chairman

There are now 110 consumer electronics products that are authorised by the ...