Published on August 18th, 2008 | by Ariel Schwartz5
Solar Clothing Makes Charging Electronic Devices Easy
Solar-powered clothing could be the next big trend for environmental enthusiasts. Researchers at North Carolina State University have designed a process called digital textile printing that makes it possible for solar panels to be fitted into jackets and ties.
The wearable solar panels act much like batteries when energized. With a consistency similar to paper, the panels shouldn’t weigh its wearers down too much.
However, the researchers did find problems with the neck tie: the solar panels make it extremely difficult to tie knots. They propose using a clip-on tie to remedy this problem.
The research team’s tie design contains a cell-phone pocket and 3.6V plug-in. And no, the solar clothing doesn’t create any dangerous electric shocks.
While the solar tie and jacket idea isn’t the first solar-powered clothing idea, it might be the most practical. Triumph International Japan’s solar-powered bra would be great—if only it worked when covered up by clothing.
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