Dutch solar shirt can recharge your phone

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A new shirt designed in the Netherlands with 120 solar cells built into it promises to recharge a smartphone in a matter of hours. Unveiled at SXSW in Austin, Texas this week, the shirt is the product of a collaboration between Dutch fashion designer Pauline van Dongen, research-and-development firm Holst Centre and knowledge-sharing group TNO.

In bright sunlight, the shirt generates approximately one watt of electricity, which can charge a typical phone over several hours, Holst Centre says. "With Holst Centre’s technology, we were able to seamlessly integrate the technology and the design so they mutually inform each other – advancing the concept and value of fashion," van Dongen says in a statement. “We’ve taken solar fashion from the catwalk to the high street, with an attractive yet practical garment that people could wear every day,” she adds. With van Dongen leading the design of the garment, Holst Centre brought expertise in solar cells and stretchable electronics technology to the table. The solar cells are cheaply mass produced, and can be ironed onto the fabric before it is stitched into a final product. “Designers and garment manufacturers can arrange the modules as they like, giving them complete freedom to create their own unique designs,” Holst Centre’s Managing Director Ton van Mol reveals. If no rechargeable device is connected to the shirt, the clothing item can store power in its own battery pack.

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