New Smart Textile Can Store, Produce Energy


In the near future you might be able to charge cell phones, tablets and other devices directly from your clothing. Research is in the works on so-called “smart” fibers that when woven together have the ability to store and generate power.

The textile device combines two main components: the dye-sensitized solar cell, which generates solar energy, and a fiber super capacitor that can charge, store and discharge the electrical energy.

A prototype has yet to be manufactured, and researchers caution that the textile isn’t waterproof or eco-friendly. Still, solar-enabled garments are expected to hit the consumer market in about five years. Potential users include the military, emergency service crews or anyone who needs a lightweight power source.

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