Japanese Solar-Cell Fabric for Energy Producing Garments

2013-02-09_105138Many of you might have already heard of ideas out there that try to incorporate energy systems into clothing. While the idea itself is very inventive, the execution is often not too practical. They can be used normally at a degree, but they would never be the same as ordinary clothes that you’d usually just toss around the washing machine after use.

Is there a better type of solar cell fabric out there that is more practical for everyday use then? Well, Japanese researchers have developed a new type of solar cell that might just make the better cut when it comes to the idea of clothing-based embedded solar systems. This new kind of solar cell fabric, which, when exposed to sun, can constantly produce green energy, even when a person is wearing it. The cloth is actually made of very tiny wafer-thin spherical solar cells, which are woven into the fabric itself. It can produce enough energy for the wearers to charge their phones or laptops with their t-shirts or trousers.

The use of tiny solar cells that are packed together is technically different from how other solar cell fabrics are usually made. A standard solar cell fabric would have a larger piece or sheet stitched directly into the clothing. Because of this difference, the new solar cell fabric is generally a lot more flexible and foldable, making it more suitable to be used for wearable garments. That it is why it is possible, for example, to use a sweater or trouser made by the solar cell fabric to charge a mobile device that you are carrying (preferably in its pockets). The solar cell fabric would literally become an “on-the-go garment of energy” this way.

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