Students of Finland’s Aalto University created a Jacket with Built-In Solar Panels

By guest author Francesca Mercurio

A collaborative effort amongst the design and physics students of Finland’s Aalto University has resulted in a unique jacket that features built-in solar panels. Titled the Sun-Powered Textiles, the project’s purpose was to make wearable energy-producing garments that do not compromise on aesthetics.

The Aalto University team explains, “the traditional way of integrating photovoltaics with textiles is to attach solar cells on the front surface of a textile to ensure maximum energy harvesting.” However, this technique compromises the aesthetics of the garment as it produces a bulky look. Instead, the students designed a sleek and fitted jacket with hidden solar panels integrated underneath the material. The fabric chosen for the coat allows enough light to pass through to optimise energy harvesting.

The jacket is suitable for workwear and sportswear, and the students see a future for Sun-Powered Textiles in the curtain and screen industry.

Image Credit: Anne Kinnunen