The EC Powerweave project (June 2012-Nov 2015) has developed energy harvesting and storage fibres for weaving into textile, to enable the production of light, flexible textile solar panels. This innovation will allow the provision of off-grid electricity to rural areas in an easily transportable form, without the expense of building infrastructure.
Ohmatex was one of 12 partners engaged in this project which included companies, universities and research institutes in Switzerland, Belgium, Portugal, UK, Spain and Denmark.
This complex project developed 2 different fibres, one for energy harvesting; Photovoltaic Fibre (PV) and the other for energy storing; Storage Fibre (SV). Patents are now being filed to protect the design and manufacturing techniques for each of these fibres.
Ohmatex’s role in the project was to develop the interconnects and connectors necessary to transfer the energy from the fabric to make it functional as a power supply.
The project has now been completed and an exploitation plan is being put in place to enable commercialisation of this technology. In addition to off-grid energy, other possible applications include commercial shading for greenhouses, wearable technology and airships.
One spin-off for Ohmatex has been the development of a textile cable and connector which forms the basis for the launch of the world’s first thinnest textile micro USB cable.
For more information on Powerweave: www.powerweave.eu