This solar energy harvesting wristband concept derives from our participation in the Horizon 2020 project called PRESTIGE. It was an EU wide collaboration between designers, material scientists, material suppliers, end-users and manufacturers, to explore the role that novel materials play in design-driven innovation.
The wristband features built-in organic photovoltaics that collect solar energy to power a fitness tracker.
Organic photovoltaics, called opv’s, are produced with roll-to-roll or screen printing techniques that deposit different non-toxic inks onto a flat substrate like clear polymer films. To improve the energy harvesting performance, also in low light conditions, researches from Advent-Energy developed new ink formulations.
To integrate the opv’s alongside an NFC antenna that allows for wireless top-up charging, all components were overmoulded by researchers from VTT with soft tpe, a material that is commonly used for sport watch straps.
To study and monitor power generation in everyday life situations, developers from Polar built a connected strap, that transmits realtime solar harvesting data to a smartphone app.
To maximise energy harvesting potential we explored the idea of increasing the usuable opv surface. The challenge was to find patterns and perforations that keep the solaractive cells on the semiflexible substrate bendable enough during sport activities and allow for ventilation.
Project assistants: Hadrien Fouin, Anna Röder, Amelie Graf, Agatha Sowinski (photography), Nina Eder, Valerie Feiertag
Special mentions: Juhani Kemppainen / Polar – Finnland, Mari Ylikunnari / VTT – Finnland, Thomas Herndl & Mladen Pesic / Infineon – Austria, Christos Chochos / Advent Energy – Greece, Katie Beverley / PDR – UK
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 761112