Don't miss the latest stories
This Wearable Battery Is Powered By Sweat At No Cost To The Earth
By Ell Ko, 18 Aug 2021
Subscribe to newsletter
Like us on Facebook
Image via Nanyang Technological University
Scientists from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore have created a stretchable, tiny battery, powered by human perspiration. Their findings were published in the Science Advances journal last month.
In a test for the battery’s capabilities, results were taken from an exercise trial. An individual wore the battery on their wrist, and cycled on a stationary bike for half an hour.
What the team discovered was that the perspiration produced during this time was enough to generate 4.2V of electricity and an output power of 3.9mW. This, they report, is enough to power a commercial temperature sensor while continuously sending the data to a smartphone via Bluetooth.
Materials scientist Professor Lee Pooi See points out that sweat is a “ubiquitous product” and “a near-guaranteed source of energy.”
“We could be looking at a more environmentally friendly way of powering wearable devices that does not rely on conventional batteries,” she explains in the news release. Because this new battery doesn’t contain heavy metals or toxic chemicals often found in conventional ones, it stands a chance of leading the way in more sustainable power.
The prototype is made of printed silver flake electrodes, generating electricity when perspiration is detected. Chloride ions and acidity found in sweat will cause the flakes to “clump together,” which increases their ability to conduct electricity.
At 2 x 2-cm (0.8 x 0.8-inches), the battery is flat and slim, allowing for easy attachment to a soft, sweat-absorbent fabric. This can then be attached as a whole to wearables, such as watches and fitness trackers.
The team reports that after this, it plans to investigate other components of human perspiration, and how factors like body heat may impact battery performance.
By printing electronic ink on a stretchable fabric, #NTUsg scientists have created a battery powered by human sweat. During experiments, it was able to power a temperature sensor device and send data to a smartphone via Bluetooth. #MadeinSG #NTUsg2025 https://t.co/SyGenzkgUX pic.twitter.com/84gMMAL9bb— NTU Singapore (@NTUsg) August 16, 2021
#NTUsg scientists have found a way to use sweat to power wearable devices. This soft and flexible #battery is environmentally friendly and could help cut harmful e-waste. #MadeinSG #NTUsg2025 #Sustainable #Energy https://t.co/SyGenzBSjx pic.twitter.com/W0T3npgwcz— NTU Singapore (@NTUsg) August 16, 2021
[via Tech Xplore, image via Nanyang Technological University]
Receive interesting stories like this one in your inbox
More related news
Also check out these recent news