The winter sports gurus of Signal Snowboards every third Thursday make for their workshop to deliberate on ideas to construct something quite creative and unique.
With the team spending quite a lot of their time in the mountains, they decided that they should make something that would make use of the high amount of sunlight accessible to them by building a snowboard that generates solar power.
The team managed to make a “solar template” using the flexible and ultra-thin solar cells from Powerfilm Solar, and then attach it to a snowboard custom-made for the purpose.
They then mounted a converter between the bindings of the board and wired it to the template. It was based on the fact that the battery would be charged by the cells, and this in turn would be used via USB connection to charge tablets and phones.
The team, made up of snowboarders, electricians and engineers, built the board and tested it afterwards when they charged a phone. Since all the electronic components were working as planned in the workshop, it was now time to give it a test run on the slopes.
Tyler Flanagan, a Signal snowboarder then made for Mammoth Mountain to test out the board and charge his electronic devices as well. Even though the experiment was only used to test if such a notion was possible in the first place, a solar power snowboard would also have some practical applications.
Fans of winter sports could then go tearing through the slopes and at the same time use their boards for charging emergency search gear, or electronic gadgets such as the music players for the apres ski events.