At time, when wearable technology remains the talk of the town, researchers from the North Carolina State University or NCSU have come up with a stunning new wearable prototype which uses body heat to generate electricity.
The technology developed by NCSU researchers is highly comfortable, truly lightweight and way too productive when compared to existing thermoelectric generators.
Earlier, the energy generated from the movement called the Kinetic energy used to be utilized by military personals in battlefields when it comes to charging batteries. In addition to that, thermoelectric generators or TEGs were also used when it comes to powering wearable devices and flashlights. Thermoelectric generators are highly important for human beings as they use body heat to generate electricity.
Wearable that harvest energy from body heat increases the productivity as far as electricity generation is concerned.
In order to perform effectively, thermoelectric generators have to harness the temperate difference between users’ skin and air surrounding them. The researchers from NCSU have used their tech into armbands as well as t-shirts after identifying the right location for harvesting heat from the body.
According to a report, the study’s co-author Daryoosh Vashaee gave a statement saying that “Previous approaches either made use of heat sinks – which are heavy, stiff and bulky – or were able to generate only one microwatt or less of power per centimeter squared (µW/cm2).”
“Our technology generates up to 20 µW/cm2 and doesn’t use a heat sink, making it lighter and much more comfortable, ” Vashaee further added.
The TEG designed by the NCSU researchers is extremely small and flexible making it easier for users to stick it to their skin comfortably. When it comes to harvesting heat from the body, the device uses its thermally conductive layer which easily sticks to the skin.
In order to protect the heat from getting wasted before it goes through the generator, the device uses its polymer layer. On the other hand, the heat that remains un-captured is then allowed to vanish with the assistance of another layer.
There is no denying the fact that the electricity generated through this technology is not that much, however, you can easily make small devices function with it such as wearables accountable for tracking fitness.
The entire aim of the team is to develop powerful wearable devices to monitoring users’ health and which do not depend on batteries when it comes to their functioning.