IIT Kharagpur researchers have managed to develop electricity from drying clothes. The Researchers say that the innovation demonstrates that ordinary cellulose-based wet textile, usually dried across millions of Indian households in the natural atmosphere, may be capable enough to serve the underprivileged community at large in terms of addressing the essential power requirements in remote areas.
The research supported by the Institute Challenge Grants, an initiative from IIT Kharagpur, was conducted by PhD student Sankha Suvra Das, MS student Vinay Manaswi Pedireddi and assistant professor Aditya Bandopadhyay, under the overall supervision of Professor Chakraborty. The research has also been published in Nano Letters, a highly reputed Journal from the American Chemical Society.
How IIT Kharagpur Researchers Generated Electricity from Wet Clothes
The researchers utilized tiny channels called nanochannels in the cellulose-based fabric network woven traditionally. Electrical power generation was made possible by achieving guided movement of saline water amidst continuous evaporation, which is analogous to water transport across the parts of a living plant, says the IIT KGP website.
The IIT Kharagpur researchers demonstrated up-scaling of this entire process by using about 50 clothes of around a surface area of 3000 square metres that were being dried in tandem by washermen in a remote village. Connected to a commercial super-capacitor, in the process, the researchers were able to reliably charge up to around 10 Volt in almost 24 hours. This stored energy is enough to glow a white LED for more than 1 hour.
“The regular cellulose-based wearable textile, in this case, acts as a medium for the motion of salt ions through the interlace fibrous nano-scale network by capillary action, inducing an electric potential in the process”, said Professor Suman Chakraborty, a professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department, and a lead researcher of the group.
More information on this innovation is available on the official IIT KGP website.