Solar textiles might still be a bit far away but flexible, thin film solar panel material like Konarka a leader in the flexible solar film market is developing, provide a option to integrate solar power charging function into clothing and bags.
A smart and environmentally interesting product, the Powerbrella™ is the latest development Konarka is exploring in partnership with SKYShades a Florida-based company making retractable and fixed architectural ‘SKYbrellas’.
The Powerbrella™ is designed for use at outdoor venues such as cafés and restaurants, hotel and resort swimming pools and outdoor lounges to provide customers coverage from the sun while the suns energy is used to power their laptop, cell phone or other portable devices.
It’s a brilliant, sunny idea using umbrellas which protect us for getting sunburns, catch the suns energy and make best use of it, generating power next the the pool or on the beach where mains connections are usually rare.
Because of the large areas of sun shades the power generation capability allow the Powerbrella™ to charge everything you can carry outdoors with you.
With the emergence of new products like the Powerbrella™ with it’s high potential of commercial success, the need for larger quantities of thin film, flexible solar panels will go up and hopefully the price drops because of large scale production efficiency making them more affordable to be integrated into products like bags and solar powered clothing.
The Powerbrella™ is expected to be available for purchase by the third quarter of 2009.