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  • The thermoelectric textile resembles a wristband in appearance and can be bent, knotted, twisted, and stretched.
  • The textile possesses outstanding mechanical and thermoelectric properties, with an output voltage of 0.28 volts at an outdoor temperature.
  • The new technology could be used to lower body temperatures by as much as 59 degrees (Fahrenheit).

A Chinese-led research team has developed a fabric that generates power from heat. The team reports the thermoelectric textile resembles a wristband in appearance and can be bent, knotted, twisted, and stretched.

Zhang Kun, the corresponding author of the study and a professor at Donghua University’s school of textiles in Shanghai, states, “Textiles can be a good foundation for wearable devices. We can use thermoelectric strings and textiles to make a comfortable thermoelectric generator that can create electricity and adjust the temperature of the body.”

The South China Morning Post reports that the textile possesses outstanding mechanical and thermoelectric properties with an output voltage of 0.28 volts at an outdoor temperature, which is sufficient to power small electric devices.

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More importantly, the new technology could be used to lower body temperatures by as much as 59 degrees (Fahrenheit). Zhang states that his team of researchers are planning to integrate the textile into clothing, creating garments which reduce the wearer’s body temperature.

The temperature regulating garments are expected to have positive effects on power consumption and the overall environment. Zhang elaborates on this sentiment, saying, “When we use air conditioners in summer, one person consumes the same amount of power as 10 people and much of that energy is wasted. If we can control body temperatures, then we can largely reduce power consumption.”