Clothes with Fiber Nanogenerators to Charge Gadgets

The Future Of... Clothes

Would you like to charge your mobile phone without ever having to plug into an electrical outlet? The University of California at Berkeley and Stanford University are both developing materials to enable the storage of energy inside clothing. Smart Planet correspondent Sumi Das explores the schools' work on "smart" clothes.

Los Angeles Times Articles

One day your pants may power up your iPod

UC Berkeley researchers are perfecting microscopic fibers that can make electricity from simple body motions. The nanofibers may soon be woven into clothing, creating the ultimate portable generator.

Researchers are envisioning hikers powering up their digital cameras while trekking up a mountain or a jogger charging up her cellphone in mid-run.

The Pentagon is hot for it too: Soldiers would no longer have to carry heavy batteries to power their gear. Along with the National Science Foundation, the Pentagon's secretive advanced research agency is helping fund the project.

For now, the "smart power suit" is still a lab experiment, said UC Berkeley mechanical engineering professor Liwei Lin, who is overseeing the development of the fibers.

New fiber nanogenerators could lead to electric clothing

Shown is a fiber nanogenerator on a plastic substrate created by UC Berkeley scientists. The nanofibers can convert energy from mechanical stresses and into electricity, and could one day be used to create clothing that can power small electronics. (Chieh Chang, UC Berkeley)

In research that gives literal meaning to the term "power suit," University of California, Berkeley, engineers have created energy-scavenging nanofibers that could one day be woven into clothing and textiles.

These nano-sized generators have "piezoelectric" properties that allow them to convert into electricity the energy created through mechanical stress, stretches and twists.

"This technology could eventually lead to wearable 'smart clothes' that can power hand-held electronics through ordinary body movements," said Liwei Lin, UC Berkeley professor of mechanical engineering and head of the international research team that developed the fiber nanogenerators.

YouTube - The Future Of... Clothes
One day your pants may power up your iPod - Los Angeles Times
02.12.2010 - New fiber nanogenerators could lead to electric clothing

Fiber nanogenerators give new meaning to the term 'Power Dressing'
New fiber nanogenerators could lead to electric clothing
New fiber nanogenerators could lead to electric clothing
Worldchanging: Bright Green: Sparks for Your Stride: Kinetic Energy Conversion News
Professor Liwei Lin
Home Page of Liwei Lin
2010Nanogenerator.pdf (application/pdf Object)
Direct-Write Piezoelectric Polymeric Nanogenerator with High Energy Conversion Efficiency - Nano Letters (ACS Publications)