Flexible Cable Based Capacitors Support Energy Harvesting for Wearables

CBC for energy harvesting
Photo credit: MIT

One of the drawbacks of wearable devices is energy. These devices need small and flexible batteries that do not need charging. Currently, the batteries used in these devices are not very flexible and need constant charging. Energy harvesting is a very promising technology for applications where batteries are impractical, such as body sensor networks and inaccessible remote systems.

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Scientists are exploring various ways of harvesting energy for wearable devices. Engineers at MIT displayed innovative idea of harvesting energy from footwear. But their design features a large supercapacitor hanging off the boot. Traditional supercapacitor shapes and form factors would destroy the streamlined look of a shoe. On the other hand, a thin and flexible supercapacitor like the CBC can be distributed throughout the shoe where it can remain discrete and is comfortable to the user, reports Passive-Components.

Capacitech’s Cable Based Capacitor (CBC) innovation dramatically improves the form factor of supercapacitors offering a flexible and wire-like shape. Their CBC are designed to be flexible, discrete, powerful, and expansive offering space saving advantages over traditional supercapacitor energy storage technologies. This enables our customers to offer better, smaller products with new capabilities, which further distinguishes their offering in the marketplace.


The CBC technology is a flexible supercapacitor that stores energy in a wire-like form factor designed to be used off circuit boards. It can also be used to offset capacitors from the circuit board to the wiring infrastructure in order to reduce the size of electronics.

The CBC is physically flexible so that it can be seamlessly used inside wiring infrastructure, wrapped around printed circuit boards, or bent inside small cases/enclosures. The CBC is also flexible in its application. Individual CBC devices can be connected together in series and/or parallel to meet specifications (such as power and voltage requirements) of the product or system it is being used in.

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Supercapacitors are designed to charge and discharge its energy very quickly; something that other energy storage devices like batteries do poorly. Featuring a high power density through the CBC’s low equivalent series resistance (ESR) and a high capacitance, the CBC is designed to provide peak-power assistance, reduce power fluctuations to increase power quality and system efficiency (load leveling), reduce electromagnetic interference, and provide last-gasp backup power, and absorb charge from intermittent sources common in energy harvesting applications.

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Sam Draper
Sam Draper () is Online Editor at WT | Wearable Technologies specialized in the field of sports and fitness but also passionated about any new lifestyle gadget on the market. Sam can be contacted at press(at)wearable-technologies.com.