People have little or no ability to see, find, and use the hidden sources of energy that can solve their current needs. If we approach this question thoroughly and creatively, we can discover a lot of possibilities for obtaining energy. For example, a person’s physical activity can (and should) be used to generate energy. Researchers in Singapore found that during physical activity, sweat is produced on the surface of the skin. They found it to be a source of energy!
They developed and tested a new material, a film, which is good for evaporating sweat and getting water out of it. The resulting moisture can be converted into energy, too. It is enough to power small portable devices. The secret of the development is in the formula of the film. It consists of two components, which are highly hygroscopic. They are cobalt chloride and ethanolamine. The lab at the National University of Singapore not only presented the idea “on paper”, but it has already been put into practice by presenting an energy harvesting device.
It contains eight electrochemical cells that use an innovative film as the electrolyte. Each can generate 0.57 volts by absorbing water from sweat. The outputs of the cells are combined, and the total voltage is sufficient to turn on the LED. Thus, the very possibility of generating electricity from sweat is clearly demonstrated. Researchers see practical applications of their idea – shoe insoles. Such insoles will allow up to 100 cycles of use, and when saturated with moisture will change color from blue to pink.