Soon, wearable devices that can be charged with body heat

Researchers have developed a new concept of electrical energy storage – Thermally Chargeable Solid-state Supercapacitor.

Published: 13th November 2016 12:54 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th November 2016 12:54 PM   |  A+A-


Image used for representational purpose only.


HOUSTON: You could soon power wearable devices using just your body heat, thanks to a new flexible super capacitor that can charge itself using heat from the surroundings – without any external power supply or battery replacement.

Researchers have developed a new concept of electrical energy storage – Thermally Chargeable Solid-state Supercapacitor.

This innovative supercapacitor allows charging to be completed using heat energy in addition to the traditional electrical charging method for capacitors.

This is the first time that it has been discovered that a solid-state polymer electrolyte can produce large thermally induced voltage,” said Choongho Yu, professor at Texas A&M university in the US.

The voltage can then be used to initiate an Belectrochemical reaction in electrodes for charging,” said Yu.

The Thermally Chargeable Solid-state Super capacitor works by converting thermal energy into electrical energy and then storing it in the device at the same time.

For example, human body heat, or any heat dissipating objects that create temperature differences from their surroundings can be used to charge the capacitor without external electrical power sources.

The supercapacitor is also flexible in that it can be used as a power supply for wearable electronics, and can be integrated into wireless data transmission systems to operate internet of things (IoT) sensors.

IoT is a concept of connecting various electronic devices and sensors for data communication and exchange, which is particularly useful in real-time monitoring.

Yu and his PhD student, Suk Lae Kim, employed a physical phenomenon known as the Soret effect – using a solid-state polymer electrolyte, in which a temperature gradient along the supercapacitor moves the ions from the hot side to the cold side – generating high thermally induced voltage.

This thermally self-chargeable flexible super capacitor powered by thermally diffused ions holds great potential to power electronic devices in a whole new way – without the traditional external power supply or battery replacement,” Yu said.

The research was published in the journal Advanced Energy Materials.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp