Researcher at the Australian National University developed what seems a new generation of thin, flexible solar panels called SLIVER Cell.
The SLIVER cells are not thicker than a sheet of paper of human hair, making them extremely light weight and flexible. For me the most interesting development is the ‘bifacial’ design meaning these wearable solar panels re able to catch and convert sun light on both sides of the sheet.
Potentially this means greater degree of energy efficiency when used in conjunction with wearable objects which move, bend and change shape with the body movement.
According to the project’s Chief Investigator Professor Andrew Blakers ‘SLIVER cells have enabled the construction of efficient, rugged, flexible and light weight portable modules that convert light directly into electricity under a wide range of environmental conditions.’
The SLIVER cell wearable solar panel project was mainly funded by the Department of Defense – hence the demonstration of wearable solar panels and their potential usefulness for soldiers. Even if it turns out the SLIVER cell technology is not up to the rough conditions in a battle field, for the street worrier it will be a great battery relief for the gadgets in the pocket.