Japan researchers invent solar-cell fabric

December 11, 2012
Image provided by Sphelar Power on December 11 shows small spherical solar cells woven into a piece of fabric. The new fabric is made of wafer-thin solar cells woven together that could see people powering up their electronics with their sweater or trousers.

Clothes that could literally light up your life were unveiled Tuesday by Japanese researchers who said their solar-cell fabric would eventually let wearers harvest energy on the go.

The new fabric is made of wafer-thin woven together that could see people powering up their mobile phones and other electronics with their sweater or trousers.

But its creators conceded there was work to do before taking the fabric to market.

"We still have things to solve before commercialisation, such as coating for the conductive wires and improving the fabric's durability," said an official at the Industrial Technology Center in central Japan's Fukui Prefecture.

"But we've already been contacted by electronics makers, blind makers and others who showed interested in our invention."

The centre developed the fabric with a Kyoto-based solar cell maker and other private firms, the official said.

is attracting renewed attention in Japan as the country looks to in the aftermath of last year's tsunami-sparked atomic crisis, the worst nuclear accident in a generation.

Explore further: Eleksen develops keyboards for Microsoft

Related Stories

Eleksen develops keyboards for Microsoft

March 10, 2006

Eleksen Ltd. said Friday it was developing a line of its "smart fabric" touch pads for use in Microsoft's just-unveiled ultra-mobile personal computers.

Japan opens solar energy parks

July 1, 2012

Japan opened several solar energy parks on Sunday as a new law came into force requiring companies to purchase renewable energy at a fixed price in a push for alternatives to nuclear power.

Flexible silicon solar-cell fabrics may soon become possible

December 6, 2012

For the first time, a silicon-based optical fiber with solar-cell capabilities has been developed that has been shown to be scalable to many meters in length. The research opens the door to the possibility of weaving together ...

Recommended for you

Nevada researchers trying to turn roadside weed into biofuel

November 26, 2015

Three decades ago, a University of Nevada researcher who obtained one of the first U.S. Energy Department grants to study the potential to turn plants into biofuels became convinced that a roadside weed—curly top gumweed—was ...

Glider pilots aim for the stratosphere

November 20, 2015

Talk about serendipity. Einar Enevoldson was strolling past a scientist's office in 1991 when he noticed a freshly printed image tacked to the wall. He was thunderstruck; it showed faint particles in the sky that proved something ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Dec 11, 2012
How about for a beach umbrella. Sitting on the relaxing while my shade helps power the world.
1 / 5 (1) Dec 11, 2012
Cool. Combine this with wireless charging technology and your cell phone charges while it's in your pocket.
1 / 5 (1) Dec 11, 2012
I already get ZAPPED every time I touch metal in my house. I would like to harness all the zapping static electricity. I bet I can power a skill saw with it!!! Now they want me to "fry" myself while wearing solar power clothe.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.