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Solar-Powered Clothing Researched at Colorado State University

This could be considered old-fashioned in the future

A very recent study at Colorado State University could bring a complete revolution to the traditional way solar panel charging systems are handled and utilized. Researchers and students affiliated to the university have shown that there is a possibility that natural clothing material could be incorporated with solar-powered chargers and be used to tap solar energy when worn outdoors.

The high-tech natural-fiber clothing and charging system could then be used to power up MP3 gadgets, tablets, computers, cell phones, and GPS units, and yet be worn comfortably. How impressive!

This project is so fascinating that it has won the attention and a $15,000 sponsorship from the US Environmental Protection Agency, and has been recently selected to participate in a Washington, D.C., sustainability design competition. This is because of its potentially phenomenal way to conserve the environment.

The project shows a promising aspect in environmental conservation from two distinct and very important fronts: to begin with, the clothing model will utilize the most recent technology to make natural fibers (like linen and cotton) as fashionable outdoor apparel that is competitive in the market. That is, the design will also be popular for warmth, protection from cancer-causing UV rays, comfort, and also moisture wicking during wet seasons.

Secondly, the clothing model will be an eco-friendly source of energy for its utilization of sunlight for powering up or charging electronic devices.  This would certainly mean reduction of the use of alkaline batteries which have more than couple of risk factors to the users and to the environment at large.

Unlike the conventional petroleum based textile materials which are non-biodegradable, the researchers in the CSU project have come up with an impressive natural-fiber clothing model that has stylish features.

The key feature is the capability to harness solar energy during outdoor games and other adventurous expeditions while still keeping a great aesthetic value. The new models can be made to fit a wide range of designs- from skiing to military use.

[via csu]


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