SunUp Solar Backpack
SunUp is a fully articulating solar backpack designed as part of my final year major project. It was a collaborative project with The North Face. If you wish to read a copy of the full final dissertation please get in touch or click the download link at the bottom of the page.
The aim of the project was to address current issues with solar usage whilst out backpacking. Currently, you have two main options, either the more common rigid poly/monocrystalline panels which whilst having a higher efficiency than most at 21%, are much more fragile and prone to breakages.
Your other option is the fully flexible thin-film amorphous silicon panels. whilst these are much more durable than rigid panels as a result of being able to flex and move, they are much less efficient. At only 7% average efficiency.
The aim of my project is to provide a compromise between the two. Combining the efficiency benefits of the rigid panels with the flexibility benefits of the thin-film ones.
By creating the panel out of an array of interconnected panels that are hinged you have the flexibility for the segments to move freely when impacted or dropped. This aims to mitigate breakages and ensures that more of the pack can be utilised for solar energy generation.
The connections between each module are made from interlinked conductive hinges so no issues with work hardening or cyclical degradation on the wires.
The prototype is fully functional and tested in the field. It comfortably charges up its internal 4000mAh battery within 12hrs from its 15w panel.
If you want to read more about the project please download the full project report.
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