Konarka Technologies, Inc
116 John Street
Suite 12, 3rd Floor
Lowell, MA 01852 USA
P: +1 978-569-1400
F: +1 978-569-1402
Konarka is developing and advancing nano-enabled polymer photovoltaic materials that are lightweight, flexible and more versatile than traditional solar materials.
Using proprietary materials developed by our world-class technical team and low cost manufacturing processes, Konarka scientists and engineers have created an entirely unique solar material with attributes unlike any existing product. This new breed of coatable, flexible, plastic photovoltaics can be used in a wide range of applications where traditional photovoltaics cannot compete. Konarka’s technical advances will expand the relevance of solar technology across product lines, as well as across economic divides, providing low cost power wherever it is needed.
Konarka currently employs over 70 staff in the US, Europe, and Asia , with global headquarters in Lowell, Massachusetts, and European operations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and a presence in Asia.
Konarka’s Power Plastic® is made using low cost organic materials (organic photovoltaics, or OPV). Such 3rd generation technologies are rapidly emerging to displace 1st and 2nd generation technologies by overcoming their technical limitations and delivering a truly cost-effective renewable power solution.
Crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) technology was first developed more than 50 years ago at Bell Labs in New Jersey based on silicon wafers, and is known as 1st generation solar technology. Silicon-based technology is technically proven and reliable, and has succeeded in achieving market penetration, primarily in off-grid remote areas and in grid-connected applications where sufficient subsidies are available to offset its high cost. There are several inherent limitations to this 1st generation, however. Silicon wafers are fragile, making processing difficult and limiting potential applications. The process is very labor and energy intensive, and manufacturing plant capital costs are high, limiting scale-up potential. And because materials represent more than 60% of manufacturing costs and silicon supply is finite, the long term potential for cost reduction is insufficient to deliver broadly affordable energy.
To simplify manufacturing and reduce costs, a 2nd generation known as thin film technologies was developed. These technologies are typically made by depositing a thin layer of photo-active material onto glass or a flexible substrate, including metal foils, and they commonly use amorphous silicon (a-Si), copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS), or cadmium telluride (CdTe) as the semiconductor. Thin film PV is less subject to breakage when manufactured on a flexible foil. However, the promise of low cost power has not been realized, and efficiency remains lower than that of 1st generation solar. Some questions also remain about the toxic legacy of the materials, both in manufacturing and at the end of life.
It has been estimated that 3rd generation solar technologies will achieve higher efficiencies and lower costs than 1st or 2nd generation technologies (Green, M., Third Generation Photovoltaics, Advanced Solar Energy Conversion). Today, the 3rd generation approaches being investigated include dye-sensitized titania solar cells, organic photovoltaics, tandem cells, and materials that generate multiple electron-hole pairs. To maximize performance, Konarka scientists have been involved in research efforts in all of these areas, including novel combinations of these approaches.
Konarka Power Plastic is a photovoltaic material that captures both indoor and outdoor light and converts it into direct current (DC) electrical energy. This energy can be used immediately, stored for later use, or converted to other forms. Power Plastic can be applied to a limitless number of potential applications – from microelectronics to portable power, remote power and building-integrated applications.
They will soon be announcing the availability of their seven standard products. These products include Konarka Power Plastic panels ranging from their KT 25 (0.25W) to their KT 3000 (26W), perfect for many portable and remote power applications.
KT 3000 (26 Watt–16 Volt)
Measuring 2384mm x 652mm (93.8″ x 25.6″) enables remote power generation for battery charging and communication devices.
KT 1500 (12 Watt–16 Volt)
Measuring 1104mm x 652mm (43.5″ x 25.6″) is designed for remote power applications requiring 12 volts of power.
KT 800 (8 Watt–8 Volt/1-Amp)
Measuring 1530mm x 352mm (60.2″ x 13.8″) is ideal for charging batteries for portable mobile phone-sized electronic devices. Connect two panels in series for charging 12-volt batteries to power laptop-sized devices.
KT 500 (5 Watt–8 Volt)
Measuring 890mm x 352mm (35.1″ x 13.8″) can harness enough power to charge portable batteries, mobile phones, PDA’s and other small devices.
KT 200 (2 Watt–8 Volt)
Measuring 464mm x 352mm (18.3″ x 13.8″) can generate enough power to charge portable batteries.
KT 50 (0.5 Watt–4 Volt)
Measuring 194mm x 172mm (7.6″ x 6.8″) can be affixed to almost any surface for charging microelectronics and sensors.
KT 25 (0.25 Watt–4 Volt)
Measuring 117mm x 172mm (4.6″ x 6.8″) can be affixed to almost any surface for charging microelectronics and sensors.