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Brief Published: 17 Jan 2011

Energy from the Elements

Extra

Scientists from the University of Bolton’s Institute for Materials Research and Innovation in the UK have created a fabric that can harness energy from the ambient elements.

The unique product is a hybrid photovoltaic-piezoelectric material. The fabric combines flexible piezoelectric fibres that are capable of harnessing energy from movement (or, in this case, from wind and rain), with photovoltaic fibres, which would harness the power of the sun, creating a solar energy source as well.

Professor Elias Siores, director of research at the university, says: “Our hybrid photovoltaic-piezoelectric material has so much potential that it can be woven into everything, including laptop and mobile phone cases. In its casing, the appliance could be charging as it is handled or placed near sunlight.”

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