At a glance 1 min

The body electric

The body electric
The body electric

A recent discovery by researchers at North Carolina's Wake Forest University Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials could allow body heat to be converted into electric current.

The research team embedded carbon nanotubes into flexible plastic fibres which have the look and feel of fabric. Using this technology, they could generate energy from the difference between body and room temperature. Distance runners wearing this fabric – dubbed Power Felt - could power their MP3 players simply from the heat given off by their bodies from the effort of their running. 

"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 C. Hewitt, a research student on the project. "Generally thermoelectrics are an underdeveloped technology for harvesting energy, yet there is so much opportunity." The technology can be adapted to many applications, be it car seat coverings, pipe insulation or under-roof heat collection to cut gas and electricity bills. Theoretically, you could charge your mobile just by sitting on it.

More information
www.newswise.com
 

If you enjoyed this article, you'll love the next!
  • Internet by balloon
    At a glance 1 min
    Internet by balloon

    In Indonesia, Google has partnered with three telephone operators  to test a system using air balloons as Internet relays in 2016. The aim is to connect two thirds of the country's 250 million inhabit...

  • The chip at 40
    At a glance 2 min
    The chip at 40

    Patented in 1974, the smart card has become a major industry by itself in just short of 40 years. Not a day goes by without us using a smart card to take out cash from an ATM, validate a bus or train...

  • Osteoid, the new generation plaster
    At a glance 1 min
    Osteoid, the new generation plaster

    Deniz Karasahin is a Turkish designer using 3D printing to advance medical sciences. He has developed a plaster concept dubbed “Osteoid” that lets fractures heal faster than traditional casts. Oste...