Design and physics students at Finland's Aalto University have worked together to create clothing with concealed solar panels, making the technology invisible to the naked eye.
and physics students at Finland’s Aalto University have worked
together to create clothing with concealed solar panels, making
the technology invisible to the naked eye.
goal of the Sun-Powered Textiles project was to create an
energy-autonomous product capable of powering wearable devices â€“ such as
sensors that measure humidity or temperature â€“ without disrupting the look
of a garment.
the multidisciplinary team hid the solar cell underneath the textile of this
prototype jacket and optimised the fabric so that enough light could pass
through to power the wearable. It also made the Sun-Powered Textiles machine
washable. The team sees the innovation being applied to workwear or sportswear,
where it would eliminate the need for battery charging or replacement for any
wearable devices. It said the concept is especially suitable for safety and
team tweaked the textile structure, density, colour and finishing treatments to
allow as much light through as possible. The power from the solar cells is
transferred to the wearable sensor devices via conductive fibres incorporated
into the garment. The conductive fibres are flexible and can be stretchy. The
solar cells can also collect energy from artificial light, although this is
less efficient than sunlight.
addition to clothing, the Aalto University team sees Sun-Powered
Textiles being used for curtains or screens. The student team worked with
industrial partners Foxa?and?LindstrÃ¶m on the textile, while electronics
company?Haltian provided the hardware and software.
Textiles was displayed in the online exhibition Designs for a Cooler
Planet as part of Helsinki Design Week. Previous attempts to integrate
solar panels into clothing have come from Pauline van Dongen,
whose Wearable Solar garments had flaps that opened into solar
panels. More recently, she made the technology near-invisible in
the Radius backpack, which featured a textile made of “tiny spherical
Image Source: Google Images