Science News

Solar Powered Bikinis

Sun, 21st Jan 2007

Part of the shows Alternative Energy, Climate Change and Carbon Capture and The Best Naked Science

You've heard of solar powered boats, solar powered cars, and even solar powered handbags have had their share of the limelight, but now it's the turn of the solar bikini and solar bathing shorts. New York University's Andrew Schneider unveiled his beach-friendly solution to a flat iPod and warm beer at the Interactive Telecommunications Program show. It consists of a standard bikini retrofitted with photovoltaic cells stitched together with conductive thread. It pumps out 6.5 volts and terminates in a USB socket for connecting to an iPod. The male version, which is dubbed the iDrink, apparently has a much greater surface area of solar cells and can produce up to 1.5A of current, enough to power a miniature can-cosy peltier cooling device, which is capable of keeping your beer cold. Cool as it sounds, at the moment it's not clear whether wearers will actually be able to take a dip in their new beachwear, or whether the combination of electricity and sensitive parts of the anatomy could prove painful...

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