Go Back   AFA Forums > Science, Logic and Reason > General Science News

General Science News Got an idea, article or video you want to share on Science, Philosophy or Evolution?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 23rd February 2012, 08:26 PM
Darwinsbulldog's Avatar
Darwinsbulldog Darwinsbulldog is offline
Science Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Perth
Posts: 11,063
Default Recharge Your Cell Phone With a Touch?

Quote:
Recharge Your Cell Phone With a Touch? New Nanotechnology Converts Body Heat Into Power

enlarge


Graduate student Corey Hewitt works with a sample of thermoelectric fabric in the Nanotechnology lab. (Credit: Image courtesy of Wake Forest University)

ScienceDaily (Feb. 22, 2012) Never get stranded with a dead cell phone again. A promising new technology called Power Felt, a thermoelectric device that converts body heat into an electrical current, soon could create enough juice to make another call simply by touching it.
Developed by researchers in the Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials at Wake Forest University, Power Felt is composed of tiny carbon nanotubes locked up in flexible plastic fibers and made to feel like fabric. The technology uses temperature differences -- room temperature versus body temperature, for instance -- to create a charge.
Their research appears in the current issue of Nano Letters, a leading journal in nanotechnology.
"We waste a lot of energy in the form of heat. For example, recapturing a car's energy waste could help improve fuel mileage and power the radio, air conditioning or navigation system," says researcher and Wake Forest graduate student Corey Hewitt. "Generally thermoelectrics are an underdeveloped technology for harvesting energy, yet there is so much opportunity."
Potential uses for Power Felt include lining automobile seats to boost battery power and service electrical needs, insulating pipes or collecting heat under roof tiles to lower gas or electric bills, lining clothing or sports equipment to monitor performance, or wrapping IV or wound sites to better track patients' medical needs.
"Imagine it in an emergency kit, wrapped around a flashlight, powering a weather radio, charging a prepaid cell phone," says David Carroll, director of the Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials. "Power Felt could provide relief during power outages or accidents."
Cost has prevented thermoelectrics from being used more widely in consumer products.
Standard thermoelectric devices use a much more efficient compound called bismuth telluride to turn heat into power in products including mobile refrigerators and CPU coolers, but researchers say it can cost $1,000 per kilogram. Like silicon, they liken Power Felt's affordability to demand in volume and think someday it could cost only $1 to add to a cell phone cover.
Currently, 72 stacked layers in the fabric yield about 140 nanowatts of power. The team is evaluating several ways to add more nanotube layers and make them even thinner to boost the power output.
Although there's more work to do before Power Felt is ready for market, Hewitt says, "I imagine being able to make a jacket with a completely thermoelectric inside liner that gathers warmth from body heat, while the exterior remains cold from the outside temperature. If the Power Felt is efficient enough, you could potentially power an iPod, which would be great for distance runners. It's definitely within reach."
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0222092916.htm

Source:-

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nl203806q
__________________
Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution--Theodosius Dobzhansky
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 23rd February 2012, 08:40 PM
Sir Patrick Crocodile Sir Patrick Crocodile is offline
-
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 12,377
Default Re: Recharge Your Cell Phone With a Touch?

Something tells me these work similar to Peltier effect modules, but perhaps more efficiently. In any case, I suspect it requires a temperature difference to function; same temp on both sides = no effect.

Now the real deal... can we use this the other way around - ie. pump heat from the source? If so, roll up refrigerators are an interesting application.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +10. The time now is 04:56 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.