At Wake Forest University they are developing a very cheap fabric that basically pulls electricity from thin air. This fabric can create electricity from friction, body heat and about any type of movement that hits it.
You could possibly see this type of fabric on the top of laptops, in carpet, on clothing and almost anywhere that you could imagine. They have already created iPod connectors on shirts where the body heat that hits the shirt gets turned to electricity and then charges your iPhone while your walking around.
You can find David Carroll at Wake Forest University doing his nano science research and as a nanotechnologist creating this material it’s neat to imagine he may be responsible for the material that may be on almost everything in your house.
If his fabric is indeed cheap and can generate electricity from any type of movement, heat, sun light, etc. it would be reasonable to assume most clothing, electronics, and household things like carpet will be utilizing the technology.
I can even in vision window blinds soaking in the rays onto this fabric where it gets converted to electricity and powers your lights and other things in the house.
Thermoelectrics is an old science but until now relied upon brittle breakable technology. Having something soft for this type of technology is obviously ideal and very marketable.
The fabric that has been developed feels a lot like wool felt, and can be sewn into things and wrapped around almost anything.
The fabric can go so far as to create electricity from vibrations or movements. What if you had this on your phone and you let your phone move around in your pocket? You would likely have recharged your phone when your ready to use it again.
Consider that a phone may one day get just as much energy from a heating vent compared to a power outlet.
From a body that is producing 100 to 120 watts of power you can get one or two watts of power which would be enough to power things like cell phones.
This technology is not efficient but that is not the idea the whole point is to supplement electronic devices as they have no access to electricity outlets.
Instead of your phone dying on you while you take pictures at an event it stays alive for much longer.
When in the past something like this would be very expensive in comparison this material used to supplement laptop power would only cost around a quarter to make.
A material that could give you 30 % more charge on your laptop battery would be great especially if the cost is around a quarter.
If you have paid attention to the construction industry most houses now get wrapped with Tyvek to prevent heat loss and manage moisture.
Why not add a material to the Tyvek that can also produce power. You would have a truly valuable component to a renewable high efficiency house with this type of technology.
Why wouldn’t you wrap your whole house in the stuff if the cost was considerably less than a solar panel on your roof?
This stuff could power your washer, dryer, or maybe your refrigerator, the only thing it might not be able to keep up with would be your Texas air conditioner.
The efficiency of the material is about one milliwatt or so per square centimeter that is covered.
A year from now when this material hits the market you could likely stick this material to your phone and go camping. Lets say you start to see your cell phone battery going dead while your making some smores by the camp fire. Simply place the phone near the fire so it can soak up some thermal heat and watch that battery power back up. That is what I call cool!
In summary I am really looking forward to the day this material is on the shelves so I can be an off-grid human and finally afford that off-grid house I always wanted.