A Catalan consortium has developed new flexible fabrics that incorporate photovoltaic modules and phase changing materials to manufacture outdoor sun protecting products, such as umbrellas or awnings. The incorporation of the two technologies aims to increase the energy efficiency of manufactured products by making them self-sufficient. In addition, the consortium has developed an energy management system produced by the module to power the product’s functionalities, such as lighting, mobile charging, and more.
These manufactured fabrics contain thin-layer photovoltaic panels on a canvas, incorporating special adhesives, encapsulation processes, and anti-dirt coatings. On the other hand, an umbrella has been designed and built with these integrated PV modules, as well as elements such as lighting or an opening and closing motor. It has been proven that the umbrella is energetically self-sufficient.
The consortium is gathered in the framework of the SOLERTEX project, which brings together companies with complementary capabilities to develop innovative industrial products in collaboration with Catalan research centres. The consortium is composed by IASO, project coordinator and manufacturer of multi-purpose sunscreen; SAULEDA, manufacturer of technical fabrics for solutions for sun protection and industry; JVV Grup, an engineering company and manufacturer of custom electronics and ECOPOL TECH, a specialist in the field of fluid nanostructured polymers for a variety of applications, mainly adhesives and functional coatings. Additionally, Leitat and IREC have participated in the project, providing technological value to companies in the scientific and technical fields that have required it.
You can read the complete press release (in Catalan) here: