As technology continues to advance and become a larger part of our everyday lives, it becomes apparent that powering our devices is often inconvenient or inaccessible. We are a generation that is constantly on the go, so how do we capture energy within this lifestyle? How do we become the source of the energy?
Dutch fashion designer Pauline van Dongen revealed solar panel integrated fashions which enable the wearer to become a walking mobile phone charger. Dongen collaborated with Christiaan Holland from the HAN University of Applied Sciences and solar energy expert Gert Jan Jongerden on the Wearable Solar project, which aims to integrate photovoltaic technology into comfortable and fashionable clothing.
The dress the group created features 72 flexible solar panels and 48 rigid crystal solar panels. Flaps on the dress fold outward to expose the cells when needed. The solar panels allow for a standard charging plug to connect from a mobile device. When in direct sunlight, one hour can capture enough energy to charge a typical smartphone to 50 percent capacity.
While still in the early stages of development, some improvements are needed in weight and flexibility of the design. But overall, it is close to becoming a viable option.
Solar technology is becoming much more prevalent for charging many technologies. It is a sustainable alternative to the depleting fossil fuel we typically rely on. In 2013 solar technology was vital to the success of the PURE Tension Pavilion for the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid. The Pavilion, a collaborative effort between Synthesis Design + Architecture (SDA), Buro Happold (BH), and Fabric Images, Inc., is a lightweight, rapidly deployable, tensioned membrane structure that acts as a portable charging station, fitting within the trunk of the car. The power strategy incorporated into the architecture enabled the 178 Photovoltaic panels to collect enough energy to power and charge the Volvo V60.