Bendy Bag

Mobile energy with printable solar cells

14 August 2014

“BendyBag” was developed in a semester project of the Industrial Design course at the University of Applied Sciences Berlin in cooperation with Belectric OPV GmbH. The company produces the organic photovoltaic material ‘Solare‘, a flexible and printable solar cell. The cooperation project was about finding new product solutions using this new material and the great possibilities it offers.

Battery with a capacity of 1440 mAh

The design of “BendyBag” combines the advantages of a flexible solar panel with the practical function of a foldable backpack. The bag consists of a single rounded surface coated with the OPV material. A zipper surrounding the surface enables an uncomplicated assembly of the panel into the special backpack shape. A separate inner pocket protects the contents and can easily be removed if the user wants to spread out the whole solar surface. With the adjustable belt strap the backpack can be worn over one shoulder or across the back. A loop in the strap indicates the upper side and makes it possible to hold and hang the backpack. The size of the bag is adapted to the human dimensions so it can easily be handled even by smaller persons with a shorter arm length. The collected energy is stored in an integrated lithium-ion battery and can be accessed through a retractable cable, so the Smartphone, Tablet, et cetera, can be charged and used even while wearing the backpack. Given that the entire solar surface is used and under optimal lighting conditions a conventional battery with a capacity of 1440 mAh can be fully charged within 40 minutes.

The product offers various possibilities of individualisation when it comes to the pattern and colour of the solar surface, the colour of the zipper and belt straps as well as the inner pocket. As an optional addition there is an E-Ink display at the upper side of the backpack which can be activated at the press of a button and indicates the percental charging status of the battery. Furthermore the user can experience the current energy production through a digital diagram. When the user doesn’t need the bag anymore it can be easily rolled up and space-savingly stored. The ‘BendyBag‘ is a versatile solar backpack and a practical companion in the urban everyday life as well as on activity trips.

contact to the designer:

Sandra Vollmer

producer of printable solar cells:

image: Sandra Vollmer