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Wearable solar cells that power electronics

Wearable solar cellsWhen we see low battery alert on our smart devices, we will run in search of a power outlet so that we can stay in touch with outside world. This searching for outlets will be changing in a decade.

There will come a day when you can recharge your mobile device by plugging it directly into your clothes. With these technology novel applications is looking forward to develop items like military gear which powers soldiers equipment, jackets which can be used to charge your iPod during jogging or bike riding and a literal power suit or tie. I am talking about wearable solar cells that power electronics.

Embedding solar cells in the fabric:

When the fabrics are infused with the power of the solar cells, recharging your smart mobile devices will be as simple as plugging them in to your clothes. This future technology was made possible with the works of chemist John Badding and his team at Pennsylvania State University when they embedded the solar cells in flexible wires which can be woven in the fabrics.

Flexible wires:

The flexible wire that is embedded with the solar cells will follow the same arrangement as in a common roof top solar cell. It contains a layer with negative charge and a layer with positive charge with a neutral material that is sandwiched between these two layers.

When the light particles called as photons that emit from the sun reaches the outer layer of the roof top solar cell, the photo voltaic effect will be initiated and a cascade of reactions will generate across these charged layers, thus generating the usable power.

The Badding team found a new way of making that semiconductor sandwich with a flexible and hollow fiber optic thread. The inner and outer walls of this thread will correspond to layers of positive and negative of a solar cell.

The Badding team made these threads into 3 foot long wires which are thinner than a human hair. This very thinness gives these wires the flexibility with which they can be wound into a coil or can be woven together into cloth.

Badding proudly announced the team’s success of weaving the wires into the fabric but the fabric is only a single layer, for now. They are still working on it so that they can produce real clothes.

Applications of this wearable solar cell technology:

The main application with the wearable solar cell technology is including it in the flexible fabrics and garments so that the fabric can draw potential power directly from the sun and can allow the user’s or say wearers to charge their mobile devices and phones on the go. Apart from this main application, the Badding team has proposed more possible applications as well.

The first party or the priority party that is now on the top of their list to use this wearable and powerful technology is the U.S military. The soldiers of U.S military will get new uniforms and tents equipped with this new wearable technology so that they can charge their electronic devices easily with the power from sun.

The working:

These new solar cells will function as a common and rigid solar cell with a difference made from the use of fiber optic housing which will make these solar cells bendable into a loop.

The light particles will pass through the outer layer thus freeing the cascade of electrons in the material. The movement of these electrons and the gaps that were created by the loosed particles will generate the electric current in the clothes. The power transferring electrodes are attached to the solar cells. These solar fibers are woven together to make sheets of conductive material.

When we see low battery alert on our smart devices, we will run in search of a power outlet so that we can stay in touch with outside world. This searching for outlets will be changing in a decade. There will come a day when you can recharge your mobile…

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