Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 44

[ MARKETS ] ADVANCED TEXTILES
 Biofuel cells harvesting
energy from sweat, part
of a wearable microgrid
developed at the Center for
Wearable Sensors, UC San
Diego. Photo: Lu Yin.
Providing your
own power
New energy harvesting
technologies show promise
for commercialization.
by Marie O'Mahony, Ph.D.
P
OWER AND EFFICIENCY ARE IMPORTANT DRIVERS in
energy harvesting technology for e-textiles, but there is much
more to consider. Bulk, weight, flexibility, sustainability, ease of
integration and scalability are also among the important factors. The
complex requirements for energy harvesting e-textiles are directing
R&D in some spectacularly different directions, which in turn is
creating new possibilities-and prompting additional questions.
Textile-based coils
The diversity in current research is illustrated by two projects
examining textile-based coils as a source of wireless power. At Purdue
University, West Lafayette, Ind., and Massachusetts Institute of
Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Mass., the focus is on the potential
for omniphobic silk-based coils (OSCs) to be used in e-textiles as
lightweight, stretchable power-receiving coils.
The OSC microfibers are comprised of a novel silk-nanocarbon
composite that combines the conductivity of the multi-wall carbon
nanotube and chitin carbon nanoflakes with the stretch offered by the
silk fibroin. Scalability is a key to success, and researchers are confident
these have the potential to be sewn into a range of textiles to allow for
the wireless powering of wearable technology, without compromising
the hand of the fabric or wearer comfort.
At the German Institutes for Textile and Fiber Research Denkendorf
(DITF) and the University of Stuttgart, scientists are also developing
wireless charging by using coils with an important further step in the
production of a textile inductive coil sensor. A silver-coated polyester
yarn is used for the coil that is made of ten turns with a distance of
15mm that is stitched onto a non-conductive base fabric.
The fabric sensor in this form makes it possible to monitor the
wearer's heart rate without the need for direct contact with the
body. It is the change of the coil's inductance relative to the change
of the impedance inside the body that allows for the heart rate to be
measured. Beyond comfort, the coil sensor offers the possibility for
a less intrusive and more accurate measurement to be given across a
range of applications, such as for competitive sports, workwear for
extreme environments or in medical diagnostics.
44 SPECIALTY FABRICS REVIEW / January 2022

Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022

Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - Cover1
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - Cover2
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 1
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 2
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 3
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 4
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 5
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Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 7
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 8
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Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 24
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 25
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 26
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Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 60
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - Cover3
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - Cover4
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - Women's Summit 1
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