…awnings that produce energy!
The first “smart fabrics” that will feed energy to households and consumers, through clothes, bags, tents, to provide autonomy to any electronic device, even in larger devices in the home will be manufactured and be available on the market within the next three years.The “smart fabrics” will incorporate flexible organic photovoltaics, which through solar power will produce energy. Any kind of garments like shirts, jackets, parkas, pants, which now just protect us from the weather, will be converted to energy receivers, providing autonomy to mobile phones, ipod, music gadgets, laptop, to heart patient’s holder and other portable devices.
Already four known Greek manufacturing companies, active in textiles, participate in the research project “Ifatronik”, the scientific responsibility which is held by the Nanotechnology Laboratory of the Physics Department of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH), under the supervision of Professor Stergios Logothetidi s.
The project, funded by ESPA, with a budget of around 800,000 euros, is one of two that promotes the cooperation between the department for research and industrial organizations, in order to produce “smart products” using organic photovoltaic cells. Recently, both sides laid the foundation of their cooperation, discussed working drawings and details, so that by the end of 2013 to produce the first prototype products and then immediately to be followed by a mass production for Greek and foreign market.
“This is essentially a consortium of industrial and research organizations, which coordinated attempt to achieve their goals for the production of” smart “products with the best quality-performance and very low cost. The collaboration involves two separate projects, one of which is the production of functional textiles and garments for various uses, “said Mr. Logothetidis.
Other applications of “smart fabrics” are the awnings on the balconies of the houses, which are daily exposed to sunlight and could divert energy to household appliances (TV, radio, mixer, vacuum cleaner, etc.)
Photovoltaics with high efficiency and “smart” sensors
The second project, which involvs two Greek companies, has been named “Nanorganic”, from which will emerge a new flexible organic photovoltaic generation with more efficient materials that will produce more energy and flexible organic electronics, which will be used, for example, on light, temperature and pressure sensors etc.
“Sensors with organic electronics could be placed in forests to warn about fires, on ships, airplanes and cars, which will inform about their engine’s temperature, and even the weather,” said the student- researcher at the Physics Department of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Argyris Laskarakis.
The sensors will naturally be energy independent, since they have flexible organic photovoltaics. This project has a budget of 700,000 euros.