Protect the Force, Inc. was awarded $199,260 this week by the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), for their efforts to create energy harvesting fabrics.
The photovoltaic (PV) materials generate electricity through exposure to light, taking it in, producing electricity from it, and storing that power within the weaves of their fabric to create a walking battery. Protect the Force intends to develop such fibers into an overarching “power fabric” that can be distributed as garments for first responders to provide a reliable, portable power source. It can also be placed as panels on protective clothing.
“Protect the Force’s proposed technology could change how first responders are able to perform during emergencies,” Melissa Ho, Managing Director of the S&T’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program, said. “A wearable, portable power source could support safety equipment and communication tools; it has the potential to improve the work of first responders across the nation.”
The first phase of the project, titled “Photovoltaic (PV) Energy Harvesting Textiles for Homeland Security Ensembles,” will see fabricating and testing of the fibers as well as weaving them into a textile matrix.