They create a wearable that uses the heat of the human body as a battery
If the heat of the human body is energy in motion, why not use it to power electronic devices? It is what some researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder. The result? A small device capable of harness human heat to run without a battery.
The device they have created is a kind of wearable capable of “extracting energy from the human body”. Since it is flexible and modular, it can be used to be placed anywhere on the body and make it as large as you want. That is, the same can be used to power a ring as a watch or a sensor on the chest. In fact, there have already been some other attempts in the past.
This idea is not at all crazy. An adult human body for example releases about 100 W of energy in the form of heat, a normal laptop needs about 65 W. Therefore, we could in a way charge a laptop only with the energy that we normally lose. Of course, if we knew and had the necessary technology to take advantage of all the energy that the human body gives off.
Thermoelectric generators on the skin
The essential thing in this device is that it has contact with the skin. From there, it takes advantage of the natural heat of a person and through thermoelectric generators converts internal body temperature into electricity. The result is about one volt of energy for every square inch of skin space. While it seems low energy, it is enough to power low-power devices like an activity bracelet.
The device itself is essentially composed of a base made of an elastic material on which a series of perpendicular thermoelectric chips have been placed. Of course it is not discreet and besides taking up space on the surface, it also has a significant volume. However, it can be a first step for smaller and more efficient devices.
The interesting thing about this device is their ability to “heal”. If, for example, it breaks at one end, just squeeze it a little and it will seal again in a matter of minutes. The researchers indicate that it can also be easily recycled. When finished using it, it can be immersed in a special liquid that separates the electronic components and dissolves the elastic base.