Power Generation for Wearable Electronics: Designing Electrochemical Storage on Fabrics
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Honors Theses; 2018
We report a new class of textiles with electrochemical functions which, when moistened by a conductive liquid (saline solution, sweat, wound fluid, etc.), generate DC voltage and current levels capable of powering wearable electronics on the go. Contrary to previously reported power generation techniques, the proposed fabrics are fully flexible, feel and behave like regular clothing, do not include any rigid components, and provide DC power via moistening by readily available liquids. Our approach is inspired by the commercially available Procellera® wound dressing, and entails printed battery cells that are composed of silver and zinc electrodes deposited onto a fabric to generate power in the microwatt range. Proof-of-concept results using the Procellera® dressing show feasibility and reproducibility. Scalable DC power may also be achieved by connecting multiple battery cells in series via flexible and conductive E-threads. Indeed, a series connection of two Procellera® dressings was demonstrated to boost the generated voltage from 0.9 V to 1.2 V. Notably, this in-series printed battery arrangement was further shown to successfully power a digital thermometer using 0.5 M NaCl solution (mimicking human sweat) as the electrolyte. Furthermore, customized fabric creation, which optimizes the Procellera® dressing for power generation, is discussed. Overall, the proposed technology is expected to be of utmost significance for healthcare, sports, military, and consumer applications, among others.
Academic Major: Electrical and Computer Engineering
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