NewsResearchers print stretchable battery to light wearables

Researchers print stretchable battery to light wearables

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Today, the flexible, stretchable battery and printable type battery technologies can enable the innovative collection of wearable fabrics as well as stretchable led displays. The specialty of these light wearables is carrying their own power source. According to the recent survey of researchers in California, the self-powered object is highly featured with the newly built zinc-silver oxide regenerator battery technology. This stretchable battery alone can be printed on to any kind of fabric as well as stretched up to twice its size without even affecting its storage capacity. Recently, the researchers are demonstrated as well as described in detail about all printed rechargeable battery and self-powering wearable electronics.

stretchable battery
Source: UCSD

Stretchable battery origin

After experimenting with the several different formulations, they have discovered that adding of bismuth oxide can greatly work for the future generation lithium oxygen batteries. This will highly prevent the formation of zinc salts and permits the zinc oxide battery to have a very long battery life and rechargeable as well. When you create the stretchable zinc oxide battery then you need to make sure that can be printed on fabrics to supply them with a rechargeable power source and also enables the wearables to have a self-powered LED displays. According to the researcher’s demonstration, there is a possibility of printing the zinc oxide batteries on any fabrics like t-shirts that power a green LED.

This stretchable battery is having one-tenth of the thickness of a coin cell, which is cheaper to manufacture as well as easier to apply into the stretchable fabrics. When printed in dual-formations, the cost is quite expensive and produces 1.5 volts. The next plan of researcher is that to maximize the power density of a battery, which can be experimented with several different formulations to the outperform coin cells at a fraction of the cost. In order to reformulate the battery of lithium-ion style, the photovoltaic cells as well as super capacitors are available for stretch ability. This plan can be used to print them on a transparent substrate, which could be easily applied to the skin. At present, this project would be funded by the latest technology accelerator that administered the national science foundation.

Stretchable battery economy

Presently, most of the researchers can be used the standard screen printing techniques in order to make the batteries more effectively. This method dramatically reduces the costs of the technology. However, the materials used for a single battery can cost up to $0.50. Comparatively, the commercially available rechargeable battery can cost up to $5.00. These batteries can be easily printed on materials or on fabric, which allows the users to adhere to their skin. This kind of battery can also be printed as a strip and need to power a device for getting more energy. The key ingredient makes the batteries rechargeable is a molecule that can be mixed into the zinc electrodes of the batteries, which prolong the life of devices as well as allow them to recharge. The researchers also developed the prototype battery of about 20% of rechargeable hearing capacity and take two cells to power a 3 volt LED.


Michal Pukala
Electronics and Telecommunications engineer with Electro-energetics Master degree graduation. Lightning designer experienced engineer. Currently working in IT industry.