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Solar soldier: virtual reality simulations and guidelines for the integration of photovoltaic technology on the modern infantry soldier

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Following recent advances in the field of thin and flexible materials, the use of product integrated photovoltaics (PIPV) for light harvesting and electric power generation has received increased attention today. PIPV is one of the most promising portable renewable energy technologies of today, especially for the defense industry and the modern infantry soldier. Nevertheless, there is limited work on light harvesting analysis and power generation assessment for its use in various military scenarios including on how to best integrate the technology on the infantry soldier. This study aims to fill this gap by accurately analyzing the light harvesting through virtual reality simulations. Following the virtual light analysis, an assessment of the power generation potential per scenario and investigation of the optimum integration areas of flexible PV devices on the infantryman are presented. Finally, there is a discussion of the key results, providing the reader with a set of guidelines for the positioning and integration of such renewable energy technology on the modern infantry soldier.