TINY solar panels that can be woven into clothes and used to charge phones have been developed by researches from Nottingham Trent University.
The panels that measure 3mm long and 1.5mm wide are are small enough to be sewn into fabrics and promote a modern, sustainable way of generating power.
The panels are almost invisible to the naked eye and can be woven into a variety of fabrics[/caption]
However, around 2,000 panels would be needed to charge a mobile phone or a fitness tracker, and so far the proof-of-concept model has been created with just 200.
Professor Tilak Dias form the university’s school of art and design said: “It could do away with the need to plug items into sockets and reduce the demand on the grid while cutting carbon emissions.
“The electrical power demand for smart e-textiles has always been its Achilles heel and this technology will allow people to use smart textiles while on the move.”
The professor says the clothing would behave like any other fabric even when the panels are embedded into the yarn.
Researchers from the university hope to create a charging pocket that can be used without wires[/caption]
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The fibres are constructed out of a network of miniaturised cells that create electricity and allow devices to be charged from the energy generated.
This innovative technology would enable people to charge smart phones and gadgets on the move without the need for power banks or plug sockets.
The university have created a proto-type of the forward thinking textile that measures 5cm by 5cm which contains 200 cells.
A USB cable would connect the phone to the fabric but researchers hope to create a pocket that would act as a charging dock and would allow them to do away with the cable.
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