Saturday Feb 04, 2023

Ten design projects that show the varied uses of solar power – Dezeen


Clothing, cars, watches and headphones powered by solar energy feature in this roundup of 10 products that are harnessing the power of the sun as part of our Solar Revolution series.

Solar power captured by means of photovoltaic panels or solar electricity cells is becoming a more widespread way to power all manner of electronic devices.

Often incorporated into buildings, as photovoltaic panels become smaller, lighter and more efficient they are being increasingly used by designers as a renewable source of energy.

Below are 10 design projects that showcase the variety of ways solar power can be used:

Photo courtesy of Adidas

RPT-02 SOL by Adidas and Zound Industries

Sportswear brand Adidas and speaker brand Zound Industries created wireless headphones that can be charged using both sunshine and artificial light.

Named RPT-02 SOL, the wireless headphones feature a headband that is constructed from a solar cell fabric named Powerfoyle that can convert sunlight and artificial light into electricity.

Find out more about RPT-02 SOL ›

The Solar Blanket by Mireille Steinhage

Central Saint Martins Material Futures graduate Mireille Steinhage made this solar-powered blanket from conductive yarn. The product was developed as part of a project that explored ways in which to make renewable energy products more accessible and affordable.

The blanket comes with a solar panel that attaches to a power bank and supplies energy to the blanket. Conductive yarn is used to generate heat across the blanket which is constructed using a polyester composition.

Find out more about The Solar Blanket ›

Photography is by Pim Top

Ra by Marja van Aubel

Dutch designer Marjan van Aubel arranged photovoltaic cells into geometric patterns to create a glowing, tapestry-like panel that was designed to be hung in a window.

Titled Ra, the artwork is one millimetre thick and comes to life at night. Once dark, a ring of electroluminescent paper embedded in the piece will begin to glow as a result of energy captured by the photovoltaic cells throughout the day.

Find out more about Ra ›

Photography is by Anne Kinnunen

Sun-Powered Textiles by Aalto University

Design and physics researchers at Aalto University in Finland have developed clothing with concealed solar panels that provide users with a means to charge and power handheld electric devices without portable power banks.

A solar cell system was concealed beneath a textile layer within the jacket, which was amended so that enough light could pass through the fabric to power the wearable power bank. The development team hopes that the innovation could be applied to work and sportswear.

Find out more about Sun-Powered Textiles ›

Solartab C by Solartab

Solartab C is a portable charger that uses a photovoltaic panel to power phones, laptops and other handheld devices. Launched in 2017, the device was said to be the first of its kind to feature a USB-C connection and can quickly charge electronic devices.

The device was designed as a greener alternative to traditional chargers and has waterproof qualities as well as including a built-in cover that doubles as a stand.

Find out more about Solartab C ›

Photography is by …….


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