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Twistron yarn to generate electricity

29-08-2017 02:00 PM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream

Twistron yarn to generate electricity | My Indian Dream

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Twisting and stretching of yarn generates energy

In an advancement that may lead to self-powered wearable health monitors as well as future smart clothes, Scientists have developed high-tech “twistron” yarns that generate electricity when stretched or twisted.

According to researchers, this is a breakthrough development as the yarns can be applied to harvest energy from the motion of ocean waves or from temperature fluctuations.

Carter Haines, associate research professor at the University of Texas at Dallas said that the easiest way to think of twistron harvesters is to take a piece of yarn and stretch it and out comes electricity. He states that when sewn into a shirt, these yarns served as a self-powered breathing monitor.

The yarns are made from carbon nanotubes, which are hollow cylinders of carbon 10,000 times smaller in diameter than a human hair. The nanotubes are first twist-spun into high-strength, lightweight yarns. The researchers then introduced many twists into the yarn to make it highly elastic.

When the yarns are coated with an ionically conducting material, or electrolyte, which can be as simple as a mixture of ordinary table salt and water, it can generate electricity. Since the yarns are charged by the electrolyte itself, no external battery or voltage is needed.

Stretching the coiled twistron yarns 30 times a second generated 250 watts per kilogram of peak electrical power.

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