When you look at the uniform and kit of soldiers supplied to men fighting in the 1st world war. A gun, a gas mask, some putees, a coat that let the rain in. And although it would be nice if we didn’t have war at all, a hundred years on. Your average soldier is a highly skilled operative. Bristling with all manner of devices for surveillance or 1st strike capability. But as these pieces of kit get more sophisticated, they need power, so how and where does a front line soldier get that extra supply of power from, quickly and safely without alerting the enemy?
Well the UK Armed Forces are currently developing an entire line of solar-powered clothing for soldiers. This will enable the solider to charge up the necessary equipment that he carries whilst on a long exercise or away from normal power sources. The benefits also mean that a soldier is able to carry other equipment and not lots of battery packs. Thanks to photovoltaic cells woven into the garment make it possible to capture the rays of the sun.
Although this technology is about two years away, add a little bit of inductive charging technology in there as well, it won’t be long until we are all charging our mobiles and iPods within our jackets or handbags. Imagine a constant power supply from your jeans to your mobile just by putting your mobile in your pocket?
The potential to charge these devices without the use of the sun is not a problem, the solar uniforms will charge the necessary device via thermoelectric energy, which means if the sun goes behind clouds or when it’s night, there is no problem charging the device necessary.
So smaller batteries, fewer resources used in your mobile, music players etc, it’s a win-win all round and especially for the Earth…