Going on outdoor adventures is becoming easier since there’s no need to worry about permanent chargers or batteries. Hikers now can have solar panels that fit in the top of their bags, which can charge while they’re exploring. This recent discovery can make the difference to adventure enthusiasts, due to they don’t have to choose between durability and quality.
These solar panels are called SunUp and were created by Bradley Brister, a Brunel University student for his final project in the Product Design Engineering bachelor’s course and which has been a winner for several Engineer awards.
The main reason for this project was to improve flexible solar panels technology, proving that it is possible to have both efficiency and durability in the same device. This kind of panels has lower levels of efficiency in comparison to rigid ones, which are made of monocrystalline and polycrystalline; these ones have 21 percent of efficiency but tend to break very easily. In opposite, flexible ones are made of amorphous silicon, rising their strength and resistance, but decreasing their efficiency levels to 7 percent.
SunUp creator has come up with a combination of small panels made of polycrystalline, joined by a groundbreaking hinge mechanism, connecting each panel in a way that the whole device can freely move and bend without breaking if it falls or is beaten.
Also, the mechanism that connects all the panels has been created to bend without presenting any deformations, in contrast to regular flexible panels that are made to bend just a few thousand times until they snap out, which makes them not durable.
SunUp is a revolutionary discovery, not only because it combines two innovative technologies improving it durability and efficiency, but also because it can be used in other surfaces besides a bag, such as a canoe or almost anyone that receives sunlight directly. Furthermore, the connection system allows a piece to be replaced in case ok breakage, prolonging its durability and longevity.
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