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Solar Power Necktie (Clip-On Only)

A solar power necktie has been designed by Iowa State researchers. The intent is to charge a 3V lithium ion batter of a type typically found in cell phones.

Three Iowa Thin Film MPT3.6-75 solar panels were applied to the front area of tie. These panels are shunted to 3.6V and when connected in series produce approximately ~150mA in full sun. The flexible solar panels were coated with a laminate that protects the solar material. When energized, the solar panels act similar to batteries. For connecting the panel to a circuit, a connection bus made of electrically conductive tape is adhered to the plastic panel. This makes it possible to solder connections. A multi-filar wire, having insulation on each filament, was soldered to the solar panel buses to connect them in parallel to a female plug that was removed from a Nokia cell phone charger.


(Solar power necktie from Iowa State)

According to researchers, the necktie is not flexible enough to actually tie into knots; they recommend a clip-on tie.

As far as I know, the first reference to the idea of combining textiles with wiring to add functionality to clothing is from the 1928 story The Psychophonic Nurse by David H. Keller:

"...In every diaper there is a fine copper wire. When that becomes wet a delicate current is sent - you understand I mean an electrical current, not a watery one - to an amplifier and a certain sound is made, and the nurse will properly react to that sound..."
(Read more about the electronic diaper)

Read more at . APPLICATION OF DIGITAL TEXTILE PRINTING TECHNOLOGY TO INTEGRATE PHOTOVOLTAIC THIN FILM CELLS INTO WEARABLES.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/18/2008)

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