Thermoelectric Generators Fabrics converting body heat to electricity and produce cooling effect. The new research methodology is developed at Purdue University of technology. The new technology is presented for fabrics that small electric generator sensors are woven into a specially developed fabric. These can help to use heat from the human body to convert energy for powering devices specifically from the field of the Internet of Things (IoT). The target applications includes heart monitor, respirator, etc.
Kazuaki Yazawa, associate professor at the University of Birck Nanotechnology Center, has developed a technology for flexible thermo electric generator using woven into the fabric strip of semiconductors. The generator accepts heat from any type of complex surface and turns it into a small amount of electricity.
Thermoelectric generators technology
According Yazawa, the new technology overcomes the limitations to conventional thermoelectric generators.
“The human body releases significant flow of heat specially with low ambient temperature. So all we need a thin thermoelectric element to utilize that heat. So the optimum size should be over an inch to generate high output power. This feature restricts their use because they are very hard and unfit for the three-dimensional shape of the body, “says Associate Professor.
Yazawa notes that the use of unique woven bands of semiconductors in this new technology promises to replace conventional thermoelectric generators, making them more flexible and easier to handle. According to the scientist, the technology provides a cooling effect. So this research is not only going to power up the electronics devices but it will also produce a cooling effect.
He says “All it takes heat and converts it into another form of energy, and has a cooling effect. Therefore, this technology can offer continuous cooling treatment. This may also have applications in sports and the military”.