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    1. #1
      Jahness's Avatar
      Jahness is offline OniOni Warrior

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      Arrow Tech-stiles: Clothes that produce power


      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
      Tech-stiles: Clothes that produce power

      By BRIAN BERGSTEIN,
      AP Technology Writer

      Someday, your shirt might be able to power your iPod — just by doing the normal stuff expected of a shirt.

      Scientists have developed a way to generate electricity by jostling fabric with unbelievably tiny wires woven inside, raising the prospect of textiles that produce power simply by being stretched, rustled or ruffled by a breeze.

      The research, described in Thursday's edition of the journal Nature, combines the precision of ultra-small nanotechnology with the elegant principle known as the piezoelectric effect, in which electricity is generated when pressure is applied to certain materials.

      While the piezoelectric effect has been understood at least as far back as the 19th century, it is getting creative new looks now, as concerns about energy supplies are inspiring quests for alternative power sources.

      For example, a Japanese railway has experimented with mats, placed under turnstiles, that translate the pressure from thousands of commuters' footfalls into usable power. French scientists have proposed capturing energy from raindrops hitting a structure with piezoelectric properties.

      For the research described in Nature, Zhong Lin Wang and colleagues at the Georgia Institute of Technology covered individual fibers of fabric with nanowires made of zinc oxide. These wires are only 50 nanometers in diameter — 1,800 times thinner than a human hair.

      Alternating fibers are coated with gold. As one strand of the fabric is stretched against another, the nanowires on one fiber rub against the gold-coated ones on the other, like the teeth of two bottle brushes. The resulting tension and pressure generates a piezoelectric charge that is captured by the gold and can be fed into a circuit.

      The allure of the idea is that it doesn't take unusual movement to generate usable electricity. Pretty much anything someone does while wearing a piezoelectric shirt would be productive.

      "The beauty of this work is that if you have wind, or you have sonic waves, or you have vibrations, that works for you," Wang said. "You do not need a very large force for that."

      Wang has coaxed the wires to grow around strands of yarn in a few square millimeters of fabric, but has not made sizable pieces yet. But he estimates that one square meter of nanowire-infused fabric would produce around 80 milliwatts of electricity, enough to recharge portable music players.

      "This work represents a significant achievement," said Charles Lieber, a Harvard University researcher who also is pursuing nanotech power generation and was not involved in Wang's project.

      Lieber noted that the research also could lead to biological sensors and other nanoscale devices that produce their own power from movement or sound waves. For such nanodevices to be feasible, "harvesting energy from the environment is a key technology," Lieber said.

      Although Wang used gold in the research, he expects less expensive metals would work just as well as conductors. Whatever metal is used, it would be laid down in such tiny increments that he does not believe it would substantially increase the weight of an article of clothing.

      However, there is one big hurdle to the advent of power shirts. Though zinc oxide makes a nice sunscreen, it's not really waterproof. The Georgia Tech team must figure out how to protectively coat the nanowires — or else one trip through the washing machine or one rainy day would rob these fabrics of their magic.

      ___

      On the Net:

      Wang's research group: http://www.nanoscience.gatech.edu/zlwang

      http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080213/...adsMTO4uMh2.cA

      Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press.
      Posted In The Spirit of Learning & Sharing
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    2. #2
      Im The Truth's Avatar
      Im The Truth is offline Organizer

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      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
      I saw a special on this kind of technology. I actually thought it was out to the public since I saw the special so long ago.
      "If the enemy is not doing anything against you, you are not doing anything"
      -Ahmed Sékou Touré


      "speak truth, do justice, be kind and do not do evil."
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    3. #3
      Jahness's Avatar
      Jahness is offline OniOni Warrior

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      Arrow


      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
      Quote Originally Posted by Im The Truth View Post
      I saw a special on this kind of technology. I actually thought it was out to the public since I saw the special so long ago.
      Greetings Truth!

      I heard it mention before, but I am not sure why I haven't heard much about it since. You know how they are with some of their new technology. As you can see from the article they are trying very creative ways to implement it in a couple of ways. Until they can get all possible patents on the technology they sometimes wait a good while before they let it loose and overcharge us for it. lol

      Peace!
      Posted In The Spirit of Learning & Sharing
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      ***************************************
      The Quest for knowledge stops at the grave.
      HIM Emperor Haile Selassie I.


      If you fail to prepare,
      you are preparing to fail!


      Mind what you want, because someone wants your mind.

      Working together, the ants ate the elephant.


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