As part of its ongoing research and
development activities, Konarka has already demonstrated
it can produce a working photovoltaic fiber. To weave
a fabric, Konarka and EPFL will optimize the strength,
thickness and electrical performance of the photovoltaic
fiber. In addition, the team will work to interweave
fibers so as to maximize the performance of the textile
without compromising the fibers' integrity. The goal
is to produce a fabric sample with at least a four
percent efficiency rating.
"This unique solar fabric represents
a leap forward for photovoltaic technology,"
said Dr. Russell Gaudiana, Konarka's vice president
of research and development. "It will enable
power generation capabilities to be woven in rather
than applied. For example, we're able to incorporate
our light-activated power plastic onto tenting materials,
such as canvas or nylon. Using the fiber, the tent's
base material becomes photovoltaic."
The EPFL team is led by Dr. Jan-Anders
Manson, the director of the Laboratory of Composite
and Polymer Technology, who is well known for his
work as the scientific coordinator for the EPFL-Alinghi
Project, which designed the yacht that won the 2003
Americas Cup. The undertaking is expected to last
one year and is funded by the Swiss Commission for
Technology and Innovation (CTI). CTI promotes the
rapid conversion of state-of-the-art laboratory findings
to marketable products through cooperation between
educational institutions and industry.
This new endeavor further deepens
Konarka's close relationship with the university.
In 2002, Konarka became the first company in the United
States to license Dr. Michael Gratzel's dye-sensitized
solar cell technology, which augmented its own intellectual
property. Since then, Dr. Gratzel has served as a
senior scientific advisor to the Company, helping
it to commercialize its light-activated plastic power.
About Konarka Technologies, Inc.
Konarka builds products that convert
light to energy - anywhere. Konarka is the leading
developer of polymer photovoltaic products that provide
a source of renewable power in a variety of form factors
for commercial, industrial, government and consumer
applications. Konarka's photovoltaic nanotechnology
is focused on delivering lightweight, flexible, scalable
and manufacturable products. Konarka has a broad portfolio
of patents, technology licenses and an accomplished
technical team. Nobel Laureate Professor Alan Heeger
(UC Santa Barbara) is the chief scientist for Konarka,
and Dr. Michael Gratzel (Ecole Polytechnique Federale
de Lausanne) is a senior scientific advisor. Konarka
Technologies is headquartered in Lowell, Mass., U.S.A.,
with research and development subsidiaries in Austria,
Germany and Switzerland. For more information, visit
www.konarka.com or contact Tracy Wemett, BroadPR,
at 617-868-5031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
All trademarks recognized.
Tracy Wemett, 617-868-5031