New intelligent textiles for autonomous ambient lighting

In recent years, there has been a great deal of interest in the development of intelligent textiles via integration of new energy-wise features. These textiles are expected to play an important role in areas such as energy storage and / or electrical power conversion as well in emergent information and communication technologies. The interest lies in the fact that a textile is flexible, light and can be deployed in a large number of applications such as signaling (flags, banners) or for architectural applications (decorative fabrics, curtains, etc) in buildings.

Real opportunities arise for the photonics textile market in the building sector (building textiles, home textiles, architecture, interior design) and in the mobility sector. These two sectors constitute important pillars of the European Commission’s H2020 call for innovative future textiles. Integration in the buildings of energy textiles falls within the scope of the European directives requiring a 20% reduction in the energy consumption of buildings by 2020 (Directive 2012/27/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012) and for the construction of « zero energy » habitats from 2021.

The LUMINOPTEX project deals with the design and implementation of new intelligent textiles in « autonomous ambient lighting » applications for interior design, decorative fabrics, and signaling. To achieve this objective, we plan to integrate organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) directly into the fabric to combine the unique properties of the textile (flexibility, lightness, comfort, low cost) with the advantages of OLEDs (luminous efficiencies, flexibility, diffuse illumination on large surfaces, aesthetics). These OLEDs will be powered autonomously, by harvesting the energy available within the buildings in the form of electromagnetic field and storing this energy within Li-ion batteries or supercapacitors.

The LUMINOPTEX project is based on the collaboration of six regional partners to propose innovative methods to design a textile combining three functionalities: (1) radio-frequency energy harvesting, (2) electrochemical energy storage, and (3) autonomous emission of ambient light.

Period : 2017 – 2020
Keywords : 
autonous textiles – lightng – intelligent textiles – storage
Website :
Partners : Ensait, Centexbel, MATERIANOVA, UCL, IEMN, Umons

Ensait contact : Cédric COCHRANE