It turns out that zebra stripes are not as simple as they seem. They serve not only as a disguise from predators, but also perform the function of thermoregulation.
More recently, zebras have been found to be able to lift their fur on their black heat-regulating stripes to wick away excess heat. And such an amazing feature of artiodactyls inspired scientists to create an unusual electric generator, writes New Atlas.
Researchers at the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea decided to use these contrasting hues as heat conductors to generate electricity. Scientists have developed a flexible, biodegradable fiber-type thermoelectric generator (TEG) that, due to the difference in temperature between shades, can generate electricity when exposed to sunlight.
This effect is called the thermoelectric effect. However, most existing materials for this have low efficiency or require high temperatures. Therefore, scientists decided to copy the skin of a zebra and use special materials to repeat its structure and capabilities. They took one from carbon nanotubes (CNT) and the other from a polymer doped with CNT. The layers are connected by metal electrodes. When the material is applied to the skin of a person or animal, it adapts to its shape and movement.
Scientists have found that the material can produce up to 4 microwatts per square centimeter at a temperature difference of 5°C between the black and white stripes. This is sufficient to power some low energy devices such as sensors or LEDs.
Due to the thermoelectric effect, scientists, although creating a material capable of charging micro-electronics
Photo: Social networks
The most important thing is that if such a development is introduced into clothes, then due to its own movement, a person will be able to recharge mini-gadgets. When the material is stretched or compressed, it changes its resistance and induction, which causes an alternating voltage across the electrodes.
Scientists hope that their material can be used to create new types of clothing or accessories that will generate energy from the environment or from the user himself.
Earlier, Focus wrote that scientists have created a “red substance”: it will change the whole principle of battery operation.
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