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 sites fails, then the entire device becomes useless, which is important during a multi-day trip. Therefore, scientists from the University of Brunel together with North Face have developed a design that dissipates energy when 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 save a little energy in the built-in 4000 mAh battery. The panel is attached to a backpack and connected to two internal USB ports, one of which is located at the base, and the other on a hip belt pocket, providing charging and use of the device while driving.
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 new, the combination is unique, so he took second place at 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.