25 June 2007
At the 2007 Pitti Uomo Fashion Show last week, Italian manufacturer ZEGNA, in collaboration with SOLARC (a Berlin based technology firm), presented an article of clothing that can take in solar energy and convert it into electrical energy. Plugging in iPods and mobile devices into one’s clothing to recharge their respective batteries is now an actuality and this is the first generation of “wearable electronics”.

Called iSolarX, the technology is composed of three integral parts: Solar modules, textile integration, and charging electronics. By using textile leads and connectors, not only are they easy to be produced, but also easily sewn together securely. These leads can connect the solar modules directly to the recharging devices. The solar modules are made of silicon, and can be monocyrstalline or polycrystalline, having dimensions of 9 cm by 5.5 cm. Each module is capable of generating 1 watt of power in direct sunlight.

What is more, the technology developed by SOLARC is capable of taking varying power into a direct, more stable, and adjustable current and source of power. The maximum input power is 10V, and with a maximum input of 1A of current, 1.5W of power can be generated. In addition there are 2 power settings: 5V for USB devices (for example: MP3 players) and 6V for cellular and mobile devices. Another option is to be able to recharge rechargeable Li-Ion batteries, which are used as an alternative temporary storage device.

(Via Presseagentur; Photo Courtesy of Zegna Sport)

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