Researchers invent solar-cell fabric

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  • 1

    LFRAgain

    Cool. This is the kind of innovation that gets me excited about the future. This kind of material on bags, briefcases, umbrellas -- the potential is unlmited if they can get the power output up to a practical level. Good luck to these folks in their continued research.

  • 1

    LFRAgain

    I understand you fashion yourself a bit of of an expert on . . . well . . . everything, but it just may very well be these folks are working on something that lies outside your perview. I know, I know. Hard to believe, I'm sure, but it just might be possible. Steel youself.

  • 0

    Kristianna Thomas

    Fabric that generates its own electric current. I understand the military application for this devise, but do people really need to charge their phones on the go? I don';t think so. I do have a better idea for the use of this fabric, why not make various lengths of five, ten, and fifteen foot lengths hose them on flag poles and see how much electricity they produce. Instead of having wind mills you would have wind flags that generate power ( can not say with less moving parts;since the flag is one moving part). Can you imagine a field full of moving flags (of various colors) flapping in the breeze along a mountain side or on a shoreline. It would be kinder to the environment that wind mill generators and would cost less to produce. Who would not like a sea of moving flags; rather that a sea of wind mills?

  • -3

    jeff198527

    The only true alternatives to nuclear are natural gas or oil

  • -4

    basroil

    Another case of misleading and downright wrong headline. ShadePlex had solar cell fabrics for three years now, and this is simply another in the long line of RESEARCH products, while ShadePlex actually has commercial products. The article should read "researchers create [woven, etc] solar cell fabric" or something else, because they sure as hell didn't invent the solar cell fabric concept.

  • -4

    basroil

    LFRAgainDec. 12, 2012 - 04:14PM JST

    Cool. This is the kind of innovation that gets me excited about the future. This kind of material on bags, briefcases, umbrellas -- the potential is unlmited

    Not actually possible. The surface area, surface normals, and panel efficiency are so small that this can't even charge your phone, let alone power a laptop. On top of that, the current methods mean limited flexibility and very fragile connections, so this technology will be used on static covers premolded and possibly cured into shape, not soft, flexible uses.

    There's a reason they mentioned blinds but not coats, and that's because it's just not possible using current solar cell technology. Future ink dye based methods might be able to be used for minor electrical generation, but it's actually cheaper and more efficient to use motion based micro-generators instead.

  • -5

    basroil

    LFRAgainDec. 12, 2012 - 08:20PM JST

    but it just may very well be these folks are working on something that lies outside your perview. I know, I know. Hard to believe, I'm sure, but it just might be possible.

    Whatever they are working on is not groundbreaking. They have exactly what ShadePlex has three years ago, which is something that cannot be commercialized past a few rich people wanting to cash in on "green" tax rebates.

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