InTents October/November 2019 - 9

Family
Pride

Supply and demand
What Pvilion does is simple in theory-
and complicated in reality, Touhey
says. "We integrate solar cells with
fabric, and we build fabric products
that generate electricity," he says.
"Effectively, any surface, any fabric that
is getting hit by the sun, can be a fabric
that generates electricity."
While it may seem futuristic to the
general public, the Pvilion team says the
technology is proven in the ield.
Dalland and Lerner worked on the irst
photovoltaic tent more than 20 years ago,
which led to research and development
funding from the U.S. Army. That helped
show the world that it can be done,
Lerner says.
"You need to be patient when you are
developing new technology and trying
to get it out into the market and sell
something to people who have never
seen it before. A lot of people just don't
want to be irst one to do anything,"
Lerner says. "I've always said we are
a little bit ahead of our time; we are
usually ive years ahead, which is better
than being 20 years ahead of your time.
We know what technologies are coming,
and we are leaders in bringing new
technologies to market."
And there's no doubt about the market demand for mobile energy generation-or that fabric has the potential
to meet that demand. Take the global
proliferation of the mobile phone. Technology conglomerate Cisco predicts that
by 2020, more people will have a mobile
phone than will have electricity in their
homes, with the Middle East and Africa
expected to have the highest growth rate
in mobile data usage.
"Every person in the world has a phone
that needs to be charged," Touhey says.
"And every person in the world has access
to fabric. They might be in a tent, they
might have an awning, they are de initely
wearing clothes. The access to phones has
driven the requirement for mobile power."

Any fabric that is
getting hit by the sun
can be a fabric that
generates electricity.

It's in every tent we make
since 1929, and in every
CCC automatic tent washer
we manufacture.

CHARNECKE TENTS

-Colin Touhey

Market integration
Pvilion's strategy has been to build
turnkey products-a carport for electric
cars, a canopy for a mobile coffee cart, a
solar-powered pedestrian bridge, and so
on. But recently, the company has begun
seeking out partners that are the best in
their market segment, with the goal of
integrating lexible PV technology into a
variety of existing end products.
"If we want to launch an event tent,
we're going to be working with the best
and brightest event tent manufacturer
to integrate our technology into their
supply chain," Touhey says. "We feel very
con ident in our technology and our
ability to take our technology to different
markets with strategic partners."
Dalland predicts that manufacturers in
all IFAI market segments will eventually
adopt photovoltaic technology, creating
products that serve their original function while also generating electricity.
"Fabric-based product makers will
become electricity business experts,"
Dalland says. "For me, there is nothing
more beautiful than a lexible solar
fabric product that makes electricity and
money from day one."
Jill C. Lafferty is associate editor of Specialty
Fabrics Review and senior editor of InTents.

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9


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InTents October/November 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of InTents October/November 2019

InTents October/November 2019 - Cover1
InTents October/November 2019 - Cover2
InTents October/November 2019 - 1
InTents October/November 2019 - 2
InTents October/November 2019 - 3
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InTents October/November 2019 - TentConf20_1
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