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STTR Phase I: Self-Powering Textiles for Electronic Wearables
Phone: (407) 924-9083
Phone: (407) 924-9083
Contact: Jayan Thomas
Type: Nonprofit College or University
The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) project is the integration of energy conversion and energy storage technologies into a single ribbon called the Solar Supercapacitor (SolarCap). The innovative aspect of SolarCap technology is that it is a self-powering ribbon which can be weaved along with cotton fibers to make a fabric. Batteries are currently being employed for powering wearable electronics used in remote places during multiple day trips with limited supplies and resources. However, most batteries are heavy, have a short life span, and are expensive, and transporting them to hostile locations can be difficult and dangerous. The SolarCap ribbons will have a considerable commercial impact since it can be used to charge the wearable electronics devices while woven on the user's backpack, clothing, etc. The proposed study will answer several key scientific questions including energy storage capability, stability, charge-recharge cycle life and durability of the SolarCap ribbons. The core value of the proposed SolarCap is that it can provide soldiers, firefighters, first responders, and outdoor personals increased mobility, comfort, flexibility, and peace of mind concerning device's electrical power while in the field. It can also reduce the physical load carried by the user. This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project eliminates the requirement of distinct devices for energy harvesting and storage. Using distinct devices for energy harvesting and storage can be a significant issue for those who are working at remote outdoor places. This is because, once the battery power of a device is drained, the outdoor personnel should find a place to charge the battery. The objective of this proposal is to develop a wearable self-powering SolarCap ribbon by integrating solar cells and supercapacitors on a ribbon. To accomplish this goal, a flexible perovskite solar cell (PSC) will be developed on a conductive ribbon. A hybrid supercapacitor device will be integrated with the PSC to store the harvested energy. These two devices will be so integrated that a direct electric charge transfer can take place from solar cell to the storage device. The proposed SolarCap ribbons are anticipated to deliver more than 8% solar power conversion efficiency and an energy density of more than 20WhKg -1. The size of the ribbons will be so designed to weave along with cotton filaments to make a self-powering fabric. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *