SunUp Solar Backpack has been designed as part of Bradley Brister’s final year major project. It’s a collaborative project with The North Face and Brunel University London, it aims to solve current issues with solar usage whilst out backpacking. The main concept was born through Bradley years of hiking with general annoyance at the fragility of existing solar panels on the market. The main problem is when one section breaks, the set becomes useless for the rest of the journey. SunUp aims to make these outdoor solar panels even more durable and convenient enough for use on multi-day hike activity.
Bradley Brister explains that in order to create this flexible solar panels system, it takes a lot of development time especially for the hinge mechanism system. instead of using wires that have short lifespan by hardening and then breaking apart, Brister prefers to build the circuit into metal hinges. This metal hinges make a conductive joint that won’t work-harden over time, they are much more durable. Together with those rigid panels, this set helps to increase the lifespan of SunUp Solar Backpack.
Since all these interconnected panels are hinged, user would have the flexibility to allow these segments to move freely when dropped or impacted. Just in case one of the panels is broken, the others would still be able to utilize the solar energy. It is claimed that the prototype is able to charge up an internal battery of 4,000mAh within 12 hours.