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What’s hotter than a solar panel bikini?
Not much for us clean energy geeks.
Truthfully, I have to say that this creation of Brooklynite Andrew Schneider looks a little strange, but it’s also quite a cool and interesting concept.
Now, you are probably wondering at this point, is this for real? Can you really create solar power from your bathing suit? Can you actually swim in this thing?
The answers: yes, yes, and yes.
Andrew Schneider came up with the idea in an graduate-level sustainability class in New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program and eventually decided to actually turn the idea into reality.
“We were going around the table with ideas. As a joke I said that I wanted to do a bikini that could cool your beer at the beach, and a couple weeks later, I realized I could do it. So that‘s where it came from.”
Schneider describes the NYU program as an engineering school for artists or an art school for engineers.
While the bikini above can’t power a chiller for a beer, he is reportedly working on similar swim trunks for guys that could do so.
How the solar bikini works
“The suit is a standard medium-sized bikini swimsuit retrofitted with 1″ x 4″ photovoltaic film strips sewn together in series with conductive thread. The cells terminate in a 5 volt regulator into a female USB connection.” And then a strap along the back connects the top and bottom.
You can swim in the bikini, but you need to make sure to unplug all devices first! And after returning to dry land, you need to make sure the suit is fully dry before plugging in again.
Schneider, who handmakes the suits, doesn’t seem to have sold any yet.
I’ve seen that the price of the bikini is $200 and seen elsewhere that its $500 — not sure which is correct. If interested, contact Schneider to find out.
Recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert, I am the director and chief editor of Cleantechnica. I’m also the president of Important Media and the director & founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love.