A fabric that can harvest energy from both motion and solar simultaneously has been developed.
A commercial textile machine was used by scientists at Georgia Institute of Technology to weave together solar cells made from lightweight polymer fibres with fibre-based triboelectric nanogenerators.
Triboelectric nanogenerators combine a triboelectric effect (friction generated as in everyday static electricity) with electrostatic induction in the generation of limited amounts of electricity from mechanical motion.
Professor Zhong Lin Wang believes the team’s “hybrid power textile”, which is 320 micrometers thick woven together with strands of wool, could be used in tents, curtains or wearable garments
Another potential application, in clothing, would be a cooling function powered by the sun, or physical exertion that caused the heat in the first place.