Development of Textiles for Electrical Energy Generation and Storage project was supported by the European Commission through the Seventh Framework Programme for research and technological development of advanced textiles for the energy and environmental protection markets. The project was launched in June 2012 and finished in December 2015. The total grant for the project was 4 million euros, and the project was coordinated by TWI.
The objective of the project was the development of a fabric to generate and store energy within a totally fibrous matrix through:
- photovoltaic fibres based on solar cell technology
- rechargeable energy storage fibres based on supercapacitor technology
- textile design to ensure reliability and most efficient operation
- reliable interface and interconnection methods to integrate the generation and storage fibres
- demonstration in technical large area applications
Energy storage fibres based on a flexible supercapacitor technology have been developed at Brunel University. They store energy without a chemical reaction, my moving ions to an interface, so can be charged and discharged almost indefinitely. This fibre technology has been taken on to pilot plant level by Centexbel in Belgium, where 800 m of fibre has been produced. Fibres have been then been combined together by VDS Weaving, who wove them into a demonstrator textile. Work at EPFL has produced some viable lab based PV fibre demonstrators.