A lightweight fabric can harvest both solar and mechanical energy to power electronic devices.
Zhong Lin Wang at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Xing Fan at Chongqing University in China and their co-workers wove a fabric (pictured) using wool fibres and two types of polymer wire: a photovoltaic one and another that collects mechanical energy. The 320-micrometre-thick flexible fabric converted energy from both sunlight and movement, making enough electricity to charge a mobile phone or power a wristwatch.
Along with exploiting solar power, such a device could harvest energy from the motion of walking, the wind blowing or a moving car.
Nature Energy http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nenergy.2016.138 (2016)
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Fabric harvests two energy forms. Nature 537, 283 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/537283d