Wearable textile battery is capable of being recharged by lightweight solar cells

November 22, 2013 // By Paul Buckley
A research team at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology has developed a technology for textile-based foldable batteries that are which are rechargeable using energy recharged via integration with lightweight solar cells.

Key to the researchers' approach was a polyester yarn coated with nickel and polyurethane to form the battery's current collector, binder and separators. The performance of the batteries is said to be comparable with that of conventional foil-based cells, even under severe folding/unfolding conditions.

The research group of professors Jang-Wook Choi & Jung-Yong Lee from the Graduate School of EEWS and Taek-Soo Kim from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at KAIST which developed the technology is now looking to make the batteries softer and more wearable.

Trial versions of flexible and wearable electronics are being developed and introduced in the market such as Galaxy Gear, Apple’s i-Watch, and Google Glass. Research

The new technology is expected to be applied to the development of wearable computers as well as winter outdoor clothing since it is flexible and light. The research group expects that the new technology can be applied to current battery production lines without additional investment.

Professor Choi said: “It can be used as a core-source technology in the rechargeable battery industry in the future. Various wearable mobile electronic products can be developed through cooperation and collaboration within the industry.”

The research results have been published in the online issue of Nano Letters on November 5.

A wearable textile battery developed by researchers at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) can be integrated with flexible solar cells to form a rechargeable cell that can be embedded into clothes, glasses, watches, and even skin.
(Source: Yong-Hee Lee, et al)