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Development of PV powered consumer products using future scenarios

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Disciplines
  • Design
  • Ecology
  • Geography

Abstract

Given the high potential of PV technology to reduce the environmental impact of electricity use of consumer products, it would be worthwhile to advance the application of PV systems in mass produced products. To date this field of application has been explored only to a limited extent. For this reason the developers of consumer products, the industrial designers, might be unaware of the possibilities of product-integrated PV systems [1][2]. Their focus on the utility of consumer products might have an added value to existing R&D of PV technology which emphasizes on increased performance and decreased production cost. In the nearby future integration of both points of view might be important to better integrate PV cells in consumer products. Therefore, in this paper, we will assess industrial product design of integrated PV technology in the context of future scenarios. In our project about 25 product designers have conceptually designed products with integrated flexible PV cells within a future scenario. By observing the resulting cases we can evaluate how the design process was established in the framework of integrated technology design, the product phase model and future scenarios. The PV-powered products that will be evaluated are an electronic book, an information bracelet, a floating platform, sports garment and a robotic monitoring device. Each product is supported by visual materials such as renderings and an explanation of the design process based on scenarios.

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