Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Dr. Andrew Darling
Biomedical and Chemical Engineering
Engineering and Computer Science
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Sciences and Engineering
Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering | Other Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering
There is a need for increased pedestrian visibility. Improved athletic clothing with built in visibility features would enhance a roadside athlete’s safety. This experiment aims to create such an athletic shirt, while incorporating wearable biotechnology. A sweat battery that produced a voltage of 0.49 V and a current of 5.16 mA was created to power the visibility aspects of the shirt. The battery uses an aluminum anode, a carbon cathode, a sponge block as the container and semi-permeable membrane, and the body’s eccrine sweat as the electrolyte solution. The battery cells were arranged into blocks to produce an optimal current and voltage to power light emitting diodes (LED’s). The athletic shirt design was evolved from a previous sweat belt design, which used three blocks of sweat batteries to light 18 LED’s. The athletic shirt was designed with two components, a top layer with the visibility elements and the bottom with the power sweat battery component. The shirt was run through three trials, where it failed to produce enough voltage or current to power any of the visibility elements. The main experimental factors that caused the discrepancy were due to sweat rate and composition. Lower sweat rate and electrolyte concentration (specifically sodium and chloride ions) between the shirt trials and the belt trials resulted in halving the power. This design is an interdisciplinary innovation, but requires more consistency and development before it can be actively used.
Vesty, Lauren J., "Waste to Work Using Eccrine Sweat Battery Modules to Enhance Pedestrian Safety" (2010). Honors Capstone Projects - All. 375.
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