The researchers decided to supplement the hiking backpack with a flexible and durable solar battery that will charge the phone or other electronics on the go even in cloudy weather.
Modern solar panels are quite fragile anddesigned for stationary use. Their problem is that if one of the sections fails, then the entire device becomes useless, which is important during a multi-day hike. Therefore, scientists from Brunel University together with the North Face company have developed a design that dissipates energywhen hit or dropped, protecting the photocells.
To do this, they used a flexible system onhinges. Separate movable elements of the solar panel are interconnected by wires and ribbon cable. By integrating the chain into metal loops, they created a conductive compound that does not harden with time. The use of rigid single-crystal photocells also increases the service life of the device and provides a conversion efficiency of about 21%.
In 12 hours such a system can completelycharge the phone and still accumulate some energy in the built-in battery with a capacity of 4000 mAh. The panel attaches to the backpack and connects to two internal USB ports, one located in the base and the other on the hip belt pocket, allowing you to charge and use the device while on the move.
The whole system can fit that backpackon which it is installed, using as much space as possible above. The use of identical repeating elements makes it easy to replace broken sections.
Although the SunUp technology project is not something new, the combination is unique, which is why it took second place in the James Dyson International Award.
Earlier, we also reported that Russian scientists have created solar panels that can work in space for more than 10 years.</p>