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Recharge Your Cell Phone With a Touch? - TechAmok

Recharge Your Cell Phone With a Touch? - [technology]
03:09 PM EST - Feb,25 2012 - post a comment

A promising new technology called Power Felt, a thermoelectric device that converts body heat into an electrical current, soon could create enough juice to make another call simply by touching it.
Developed by researchers in the Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials at Wake Forest University, Power Felt is composed of tiny carbon nanotubes locked up in flexible plastic fibers and made to feel like fabric. The technology uses temperature differences -- room temperature versus body temperature, for instance -- to create a charge.

Their research appears in the current issue of Nano Letters, a leading journal in nanotechnology.

"We waste a lot of energy in the form of heat. For example, recapturing a car's energy waste could help improve fuel mileage and power the radio, air conditioning or navigation system," says researcher and Wake Forest graduate student Corey Hewitt. "Generally thermoelectrics are an underdeveloped technology for harvesting energy, yet there is so much opportunity."

Potential uses for Power Felt include lining automobile seats to boost battery power and service electrical needs, insulating pipes or collecting heat under roof tiles to lower gas or electric bills, lining clothing or sports equipment to monitor performance, or wrapping IV or wound sites to better track patients' medical needs.


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