Solar Soldier project puts photovoltaics into army uniforms

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A team of researchers from across Britain is developing a solar-powered pack for British soldiers, so infantry can travel further with a lighter load on their back.

The new outfit would have a mix of solar photovoltaic cells and thermoelectric devices, to harness natural sunlight and the temperature change between the outside and inside of the soldier’s clothes. Together, the two technologies would provide a reliable supply of round-the-clock electricity.

Currently, soldiers need a supply of batteries to charge weapons, radios, GPS devices and other vital pieces of kit. Those giant battery packs can account for around ten percent of the 45-70kg load a typical British soldier has to carry. The team wants to reduce the weight of those batteries by up to 50 percent.

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