Konarka Technologies, Inc., an innovator in development and commercialization of Konarka Power PlasticR, a material that converts light to energy, today announced the company has entered into an advanced product development agreement with Florida-based Arch Aluminum & Glass Co., Inc. The companies plan to collaborate on building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), photovoltaic materials used to replace conventional building materials. The memorandum of understanding (MOU) outlines the integration of Konarka's patent-protected thin film solar material into glass for various commercial BIPV applications. BIPV is one of the fastest growing segments of the photovoltaic industry.
"Konarka is making great strides with our aggressive plans to expand into various markets, including building and construction," commented Rick Hess, president and CEO at Konarka. "Because our solar material is flexible, lightweight and semi-transparent, it integrates easier and is more aesthetically appealing than other solar products, making it ideally suited for BIPV applications. We expect that our collaborative work with Arch Aluminum & Glass will advance the delivery of Konarka Power Plastic on a large scale basis into this market segment."
Arch Aluminum specializes in a wide range of artistic and architectural glass products to keep pace with the demands of today's architects, designers and building developers. The company offers in-house laminating, heat-treating and fabrication technology as well as selective, engineered, off-the-shelf aluminum and glass products.
"Until today, aesthetic and performance concerns limited the ability of architects to use BIPV technology in their designs," commented Arch CEO Leon Silverstein. "This product development investigation is about the creation of a new product category, one that had been unavailable until today. It is energy-efficient and transparent with superior vertical performance and a subtle red, blue or green aesthetic. With these features, BIPV will no longer need to be confined to spandrel or overhead applications. An entire building can be put to use, producing its own power, and looking good doing so. We're excited about our efforts with Konarka to bring this technology to the building community."
In October 2008, Konarka opened the largest roll-to-roll flexible thin film solar manufacturing facility in the world, preparing for the commercialization and mass production of its solar material for various market segments including sensors, consumer products, tent and fabric structures, greenhouses, marine and boating, building construction, as well as fashion and accessories, among others.