This week at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair, consumer electronics bag manufacturer Mascotte launched a line of backpacks and other bags incorporating the flexible solar panels from UK/US company G24 Innovations. G24’s dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) are thin-film photovoltaics that can be manufactured in flexible rolls relatively cheaply, making them ideal for consumer applications. Mascotte is launching a line of backpacks, duffel bags, e-book cover, camera and messenger bags, ranging in price from $99-$299, that will recharge personal devices such as cell phones or cameras.
The DSSC cells are designed to create electricity not only from outdoor sunlight but indoor lighting as well. Under sunny conditions, it takes 4-5 hours to fully charge a mobile phone and perhaps 12 hours from indoor light. With the initial Mascotte partnership, D24 hopes to send a clear signal to other OEM manufacturers that the lightweight, flexible, solar module is a highly differentiated product to help them meet the growing needs of their eco-conscious consumers.
G24 originally licensed their DSSC technology in 2006 from Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne and has unlimited distribution rights worldwide on products made using the technology. The Company hopes to eventually make batteries and external power supplies obsolete by building solar power generators inside electronic products. “In the future, our product will become smaller and it will change from being around the electronic device to on it and eventually inside it, displacing plastics, springs and coils associated with batteries,” claims CEO John Hartnett.