Nanotechnology based Twistron yarn for harvesting energy


Batteries, a source of storing power but what if we can harvest the energy by stretching the yarn and create electricity. Researchers have described a twistron yarns having numerous applications like harvesting energy from temperature fluctuations or from motion of oceanic waves.

These yarns are basically based on nanotechnology. These are constructed from carbon nanotubes, cylindrical in shape and 10,000 times smaller in diameter than a human hair. In order to generate electricity, researchers first twisted the nanotubes in lightweight with high strength yielding yarn after this they are submerged in electrolyte usually made up of ordinary table salt and water due to which they generate electricity.

These yarns are basically supercapacitors because in normal capacitor energy is charged from a battery but in case of nanotube yarn, they are charged by electrolyte itself so no external battery or voltage is required. When a harvester yarn is twisted or stretched, the volume of the carbon nanotube yarn decreases, bringing the electric charges on the yarn closer together and increasing their energy.

When tested in labs, twistron yarn could power a small LED whenever stretched. Twistron can also perform as self-powered respiration sensors in which normal breathing stretches the yarn and hence electrical signal is generated.