Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Diffus Handbag: A solar-powered luxury handbag - - Designed by Forster Rohner and the Alexandra Institute

At first, the idea of a solar-powered luxury handbag seemed extremely gimmicky to me. But it slowly dawned on me that this could be a practical solution as well. Diffus’ new solar-powered handbag allows you to charge your mobile phone. Plus, it helps bid goodbye to those frantic night-time searches for keys, combs, lip balms and so on, because every time you open the bag, the integrated fiber optics inside are activated and the bag lights up.

Diffus handbag: A solar-powered luxury handbag

For a change, the solar-powered character of this Diffus handbag is not hidden away in its folds and stitches. On the contrary (and this is what makes the bag so drool-worthy), the photovoltaic cells are used as part of the design, providing the bag with a unique and stylish appeal. Diffus brought on board Swiss embroiderers Forster Rohner and the Alexandra Institute to wire 100 solar cells on to the exterior of this luxury handbag. Diffus co-founder Hanne-Louise Johannesen compared this blending of function and design with the architecture of the legendary Gustave Eiffel.

The black carryall boasts new-age chic thanks to the copper-framed solar cells and exposed wiring that adds a new dimension to what might have been just another big bag. What happens here is that the most efficient photovoltaic cells available today, which are made out of monocrystalline silicone, have been transformed into oversized sequin-like elements. This makes it unlike other solar materials, which have a much smaller surface area.

Now, when these oversized sequin-like cells are exposed to sunlight, they can generate power of up to 2 watts. Of course, as solar cells become more and more efficient, these could generate still more power and we could have more such energy-efficient bags.

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