For those who get blanched at sudden electricity blackout, Inside Out design studio has brilliantly transformed household curtains into flexible solar collectors. Instead of just blocking the sunlight, the upcoming solar-powered curtain uses sun energy that further gets converted into electric power.
Designer Petra Blaisse, founder of studio Inside Outside, is well known for using textiles in architecture. In collaboration with Netherland-based TextielLab, Blaisse has created woven solar curtain. The TextielLab and solar cell experts from Solar Fiber have worked together to fulfill technical requirements necessary for blending fabric with conductive materials.
One of the hardest parts of the process was finding the right material to design such curtains that could withstand weight of solar cells. The team considered a knitted fabric, but it has high degree of stretch. So it could have sagged when hung. Finally, they found out a knit that stretches to only one direction but remains firm on the other. Further, the fabric has been interwoven along with flexible solar cells, which turn daylight into electricity for juicing up your electronic devices.
To be precise, one meter long panel of flexible fabric is able to convert sunlight into energy. This means numerous solar cells embedded into the knitted textile could generate huge amount of energy to power an entire house. Unfortunately, the project is still in it prototype phase and needs to undergo several tests. But this unique concept has proven that renewable energy can be applied into textile industry as well, providing revolutionary ways to preserve solar energy.