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17th World Textile Conference AUTEX 2017- Textiles - Shaping the Future IOP Publishing IOP Conf. Series: Materials Science and Engineerin1g23245546(72809107) 042021 doi:10.1088/1757-899X/254/4/042021
Triboelectric effect in energy harvesting
I Logothetis1, S Vassiliadis1 and E Siores2
1Piraeus University of Applied Sciences, Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Thivon 250, Egaleo 12241, Greece
2Bolton University, Institute of Materials Research and Innovation, Deane Rd, Bolton BL35AB, UK
Abstract. With the development of wearable technology, much research has been undertaken in the field of flexible and stretchable electronics for use in interactive attire. The challenging problem wearable technology faces is the ability to provide energy whilst keeping the end- product comfortable, light, ergonomic and nonintrusive. Energy harvesting, or energy scavenging as it is also known, is the process by which ambient energy is captured and converted into electric energy. The triboelectric effect converts mechanical energy into electrical energy based on the coupling effect of triboelectrification and electrostatic induction and is utilized as the basis for triboelectric generators (TEG). TEG’s are promising for energy harvesting due their high output power and efficiency in conjunction with simple and economical production. Due to the wide availability of materials and ease of integration, in order to produce the triboelectric effect such functional materials are effective for wearable energy harvesting systems. Flexible TEG’s can be built and embedded into attire, although a thorough understanding of the underlying principle of how TEG’s operate needs to be comprehended for the development and in incorporation in smart technical textiles. This paper presents results associated with TEG’S and discusses their suitability for energy harvesting in textiles structures.
In recent years, research has advanced into wearable energy harvesters due to an increase in low power consumption and nanoelectronic wearable devices [1, 2]. Energy harvesting, or energy scavenging, is the process by which waste energy captured from the ambient environment and human movement is converted into electric energy replacing the need for traditional means of power supplies, like batteries, which are limited in capacity  and constantly need replacing resulting in high maintenance cost [4, 5].
The generation of electric energy from mechanical energy can be from different mechanisms such as piezoelectric and triboelectric nanogenerators. Even though the development of piezoelectric generators has proven to be effective, its limitations have directed research into triboelectric nanogenerators  producing a high output power with great efficiency, in conjunction with its simple and economical production [7, 8, 9].
Triboelectricity converts mechanical energy into electricity [10, 11] coupling triboelectrification and electrostatic induction. Electrostatic induction is the phenomenon of electrification by contact of two objects that become spontaneously charged. The general concept of TEG’s is that when two
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