Your Body Heat Could Someday Charge Your Phone

Graduate student Corey Hewitt works with a sample of thermoelectric fabric in the Nanotechnology lab. [Photo: Wake Forest University]
Move over, solar power; there's a new environmentally friendly source of power in town. Instead of harvesting the sun's energy, it draws from another source of heat--your body.

The technology is called Power Felt, and it comes courtesy of researchers at the Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials at Wake Forest University. Power Felt uses carbon nanotubes to create electrical energy from temperature differentials, such as that between your body and the air. The researchers encased the nanotubes in plastic fibers to create a fabric, which allows the device to be easily incorporated into a number of products.

Heat is a by-product of so many processes that there are endless potential applications for this technology, from charging the battery in your car to capturing the heat escaping from your house to lower your energy bill. You could work this into the liner of your jacket and have a source of energy with you wherever you go.

While this technology has great promise, it still requires some development before it sees the light of day. Not surprisingly, the researchers are looking to make the fabric thinner and produce more energy.

[Wake Forest University via ScienceDaily]

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