Technology

Researchers convert body heat into a charging source

Ideas are something which comes from our conscience. They cannot be controlled and their source cannot be identified. The fact that they just appear in our head from some source which we can term as inspiration is amazing enough. The world runs on ideas and its execution. There are people who are a legend on this planet because of the ideology they inherited from their birth. Ideas cannot be instilled even if we want they can only be shared from one person to another and that is what today’s technology is about. The conversion of thought into a fact can sound absurd but can be very useful.

A breakthrough technology is only an idea away nowadays. It takes only an idea to bring about a change in the world of technology. That said, there are researchers who have made something impossible very much possible. They have developed a fabric which will use our body heat to power our wearable. However, that wearable must be small as the tech has some limitations as of now.

This fabric works on the effect of thermoelectricity. Basically, the difference between the temperatures of our body and the ambiance is used to generate electricity which will in turn power our wearable. Nowadays, wearable has gained popularity, the world wants to get fitter and the bands and watches and whatnot are a common thing amongst enthusiast. Apart from this, the designs are also very attractive and it is very helpful for us to track our health and fitness as well.

That said, there was technology which worked efficiently over eight hours of work. However, the equipment required to transfer the heat to the cooler regions which generated electricity were very expensive and this was not consumer friendly. However, researchers now have developed a lightweight polymer which is flexible and vapor-print biocompatible. It is not harmful to the human skin and the fabric has particles which have high thermoelectric properties so that they can carry the electric charge. They also yield a very high thermal voltage.

The researchers have cleverly used wool’s natural property of low heat transfer and couple it with cotton to create a garment which is thermoelectric as there is a thermal difference. This garment can maintain temperature across thermopile which is an electronic device. The researchers said that the charging or the conversion of heat energy to electricity takes place through long durations of usage of the garment.

This is a breakthrough in the wearable field as people and device engineers are always seeking a different kind of energy sources to power their devices. It will be very useful once it is completely developed and the price also comes down. Many companies will be interested in this new source of power but it still has a long way to go in terms of research and development.

-Unmesh Phule

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