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Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics; Center for Cyber-Physical Systems


In this paper, we report the design, experimental validation and application of a scalable, wearable e-textile triboelectric energy harvesting (WearETE) system for scavenging energy from activities of daily living. The WearETE system features ultra-low-cost material and manufacturing methods, high accessibility, and high feasibility for powering wearable sensors and electronics. The foam and e-textile are used as the two active tribomaterials for energy harvester design with the consideration of flexibility and wearability. A calibration platform is also developed to quantify the input mechanical power and power efficiency. The performance of the WearETE system for human motion scavenging is validated and calibrated through experiments. The results show that the wearable triboelectric energy harvester can generate over 70 V output voltage which is capable of powering over 52 LEDs simultaneously with a 9 × 9 cm2 area. A larger version is able to lighten 190 LEDs during contact-separation process. The WearETE system can generate a maximum power of 4.8113 mW from hand clapping movements under the frequency of 4 Hz. The average power efficiency can be up to 24.94%. The output power harvested by the WearETE system during slow walking is 7.5248 µW. The results show the possibility of powering wearable electronics during human motion.

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©2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Publisher's version of record:

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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