Japan researchers invent solar-cell fabric

Dec 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: Indonesia passes law to tap volcano power

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Japan opens solar energy parks

Jul 01, 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.

Eleksen develops keyboards for Microsoft

Mar 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.

Recommended for you

Indonesia passes law to tap volcano power

Aug 26, 2014

The Indonesian parliament on Tuesday passed a long-awaited law to bolster the geothermal energy industry and tap the power of the vast archipelago's scores of volcanoes.

Expert calls for nuke plant closure (Update)

Aug 25, 2014

A senior federal nuclear expert is urging regulators to shut down California's last operating nuclear plant until they can determine whether the facility's twin reactors can withstand powerful shaking from ...

Image: Testing electric propulsion

Aug 20, 2014

On Aug. 19, National Aviation Day, a lot of people are reflecting on how far aviation has come in the last century. Could this be the future – a plane with many electric motors that can hover like a helicopter ...

Where's the real value in Tesla's patent pledge?

Aug 20, 2014

With the much-anticipated arrival next month of electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla's Model S to Australian shores, it's a good time to revisit Tesla's pledge to freely share patents. ...

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Magus
not rated yet Dec 11, 2012
How about for a beach umbrella. Sitting on the relaxing while my shade helps power the world.
Moebius
1 / 5 (1) Dec 11, 2012
Cool. Combine this with wireless charging technology and your cell phone charges while it's in your pocket.
Milou
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.