Sphelar Power Corporation has successfully prototyped, with the Industrial Technology Center of Fukui Prefecture, an energy-harvesting textile where spherical solar cells (Sphelar® cells) are interweaved.
This result was delivered from an interdisciplinary collaboration between Sphelar Power, which uniquely developed 3-dimesional light capturing Sphelar® cells, and the Industrial Technology Center of Fukui Prefecture which serves as innovative R&D hub for local textile industries.
Unlike conventional flat solar cells, the micro spherical solar cell has spherical light-receiving surface, its 1-2mm in diameter and it looks like a bead. It was invented and developed by Kyosemi Corporation. The spherical solar cell is less dependent on the angle of incoming light and more productive in terms of energy yield.
The basic structure of the energy-harvesting textile is composed of 1.2-mm Sphelar® cells aligned and connected as a thread and then woven. The energy generating thread and how to weave it as a textile are both developed in this project. With such structure, photovoltaic modules can be not only be flexible, but also expandable just like textile.
Sphelar Power will continue the development in cooperation with the Industrial Technology Center of Fukui Prefecture and local companies, and ship the samples in one year. The energy-harvesting textile technology developed here allows for a wide range of innovative designs that cannot be achieved using conventional technology, since it has the advantages of Sphelar® which is less dependent on incoming light angle and enables light-through module, and the textile is light, flexible and extensible.
Source and images: Sphelar Power
Top image shows Sphelar textile