Wearable Textile Technology That Can Charge a Phone

BeWeave It

As weavers, we already know that cloth is a pretty powerful thing. It has the ability to span generations, tell stories, protect a table, and express love for friends and family.

But did you know cloth could be this powerful?

The push to develop sustainable energy isn’t limited to solar panels and wind turbines. The power of the sun and wind can also be harnessed by new technical textiles developed by a team of researchers. These textiles weave together microcable solar cells with a fiber that can convert mechanical energy into electricity. Both fibers are woven with copper wire that harvests and transports the energy.

The textiles themselves can be woven on an industrial weaving machine. Researchers experimented with weaving the power-generating fibers in plain weave, twill, and satin, and found that they could generate the most energy with plain weave.

In practice, this textile technology could be used to harvest wind and solar energy anywhere outdoors. For example, a garment made of these textiles could charge a phone while you’re walking around outside by harvesting the sun shining on you and the movement generated by the wind and your moving body. They don’t produce much energy, but it’s enough to power most wearable electronics.

Here’s to the power of cloth! And may it one day charge our cell phones! You can learn more here!

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