top of page

Flexible washable wearable microgrid that can store energy from the human body

Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego published a Nature Communications paper "A self-sustainable wearable multi-modular E-textile bioenergy microgrid system", in which they have developed a "wearable microgrid" that harvests and stores energy from the human body to power small electronics. The wearable microgrid consists of three main parts: sweat-powered biofuel cells, motion-powered devices called triboelectric generators, and energy-storing supercapacitors. All parts are flexible, washable, and can be screen printed onto clothing.

“Despite the fast development of various energy harvesting and storage devices, their judicious integration into efficient, autonomous, and sustainable wearable systems has not been widely explored. Here, we introduce the concept and design principles of e-textile microgrids by demonstrating a multi-module bioenergy microgrid system. Unlike earlier hybrid wearable systems, the presented e-textile microgrid relies solely on human activity to work synergistically, harvesting biochemical and biomechanical energy using sweat-based biofuel cells and triboelectric generators, and regulating the harvested energy via supercapacitors for high-power output. Through energy budgeting, the e-textile system can efficiently power liquid crystal displays continuously or a sweat sensor-electrochromic display system in pulsed sessions, with half the booting time and triple the runtime in a 10-min exercise session. Implementing “compatible form factors, commensurate performance, and complementary functionality” design principles, the flexible, textile-based bioenergy microgrid offers attractive prospects for the design and operation of efficient, sustainable, and autonomous wearable system”


Subscribe for updates

Thank you!

bottom of page