Konarka Technologies, Inc., an innovator in development and commercialization of Power Plastic®, a material that converts light to energy, today announced the company has been selected, along with Air Products (NYSE:APD), by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Advanced Technology Program (ATP), to conduct research and development on transparent, flexible solar modules for windows and other building integrated applications.
“The Advanced Technology Program is changing the way industry approaches R&D, providing a mechanism for industry to extend its technological reach and extend the envelope of what can be attempted,” commented Rick Hess, president and CEO of Konarka. “We are delighted to have been selected by NIST to develop this new product technology which will be accelerated with the ATP funding.”
Organic photovoltaic (OPV) technology is unique among solar energy alternatives in offering the potential for selecting materials for varying levels of transparency, capable of absorbing narrowly or broadly in one or more regions of the visible and near-infrared spectrum. Konarka will further develop its patented, transparent, metallic grid electrode technology for the new cell and module architecture. Air Products will develop high-conductivity polymers with more efficient charge injection capability in OPV cells, thereby improving overall cell electrical performance.
The technology will be suitable for use in windows capable of controlling transparency for privacy, regulating the wavelength of light passing through for energy conservation and for aesthetics. Since the materials are capable of harvesting indoor as well as outdoor light, the solar modules can be integrated into building sensors, battery chargers, lighting and displays, and wireless security monitoring systems.