Singaporean researchers have developed a film capable of cooling the body during a workout. This absorbs perspiration and collects moisture to generate an electric current. The ultimate goal would be to power connected accessories.
Connected devices and sports have been synonymous with each other for several years. This did not fail to give rise to many projects. In 2019, for example, a company unveiled a heart rate monitor that recharges using solar energy using mini solar collectors placed around the bezel. However, you should know that some devices of this type rather use the kinetic energy produced by the movements of the body in order to recharge. A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore described a whole new approach in a statement published on January 5, 2021. This is a film that can absorb sweat to reuse it to obtain an electric current.
How does this process work? The film in question accelerates the evaporation of perspiration, thus reducing the temperature of the skin. In other words, the body refreshes itself. The moisture is then absorbed by the film thanks to two hygroscopic substances : cobalt chloride and ethanolamine. Being saturated and exposed to sunlight is enough to make it make water absorbed. The color of the film (from blue to pink, via purple) allows you to know if the latter is saturated. According to the researchers, their innovation can be used about a hundred times.
An innovation to be perfected
However, the possibilities of this film go further. Indeed, it consists of a energy recovery system portable integrating eight electrochemical cells. Each of them incorporates the film as an electrolyte and generates a voltage of 0.57 V. Furthermore, the film associates with membranes in order to integrate with the clothes worn by the user. It could thus be placed at the level of the armpits or in shoes, as a sole. This would keep the user dry and prevent unpleasant odors. Compared to existing materials, the film can absorb fifteen times more humidity, six times faster.
However, the researchers explain that the energy created is just enough to power an LED lamp. For now, therefore, this is only a proof of concept. However, scientists would like to achieve power connected accessories. If successful, they may attempt to integrate it into a product intended for a general public marketing.