Optimisation of knitted fabrics as visually concealing covers for textile-integrated photovoltaics

Farid Elsehrawy, Bettina Blomstedt, Elina Ilén, Elina Palovuori, Janne Halme*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
35 Downloads (Pure)


Integrating solar cells in textiles offers a promising path toward energy-autonomous wearable electronics, but their design requires careful optimisation between energy efficiency and visual aesthetics. For this purpose, we present a systematic study of the optical properties of knitted textiles as visually concealing covers for textile-integrated solar cells. The study investigates microscopic and macroscopic factors that influence the optical performance of knitted textiles. A set of 175 samples was knitted, including 20 knit structures, 6 yarn materials, and 20 yarn colours. The knitted samples were studied using optical characterisation methods such as spectroscopy, microscopy, and photography. We developed metrics characterising solar cell performance and visual appearance, which can be used to optimise textiles based on desired performance characteristics. The strong correlation between the performance metrics demonstrates a design compromise between solar cell performance and concealment. By applying a proposed set of optimisation criteria to the knitted samples, 23 out of the 175 samples qualified as the best in solar cell performance and concealment. The developed metrics are also applicable to other textile configurations and light-sensing applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112205
Number of pages19
JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Colourimetry
  • Energy harvesting
  • Knit fabric
  • Textile electronics
  • Textile solar cell


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  • SunPowTex: Sun-powered Textiles

    Halme, J. & Elsehrawy, F.


    Project: Business Finland: Other research funding

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