Technology is growing fast, resulting in the miniaturization of almost every thing. As a part of this growth, soldiers can lighten their burden. Nowadays, soldiers are forced to carry about 100-150 pounds as they are equipped with a lot of heavy weapons, communication devices and its supporting batteries. Solar power, the most widely used natural resource of energy, is expanding its application in the military field too.
The energy from the sun is already being used in different applications. The only drawback is that the energy capturers-solar panels are expensive and are not easy to transport from point-to-point.
The researchers at the Australian National University in Canberra have come up with new wearable solar panels that can power the weapons and its equipments. These panels are flexible, paper-thin cells, aptly dubbed “sliver” and can generate up to 140 watts of power. The efficient, rugged, flexible and light weight portable modules can convert sunlight directly into electricity under a wide range of environmental conditions.
According to the project’s development manager Igor Skryabin, the panel is so smartly designed that they can be worn on a soldier’s helmet, uniform, backpack, or tent and stores the energy after it is rolled back.
The silver cells built by Transform Solar in Boise, Idaho, would slash its weight on the soldier’s shoulder at 45 microns thickness. It provides the same efficiency as that of the conventional solar panels and can operate between temperature ranges of 100 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
Interestingly, the new panel can also be used for commercial applications among the people to charge their mobiles, iPods, iPhones, remotes and sensors.
So, we will soon see more devices use this eco-friendly resource for power generation. Hope new bright inventions like this could be a solution for the looming energy crisis.