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Arch Aluminum and Glass and Konarka Technologies to Develop Semi-Transparent Solar Glass Products for the Building Integrated Photovoltaics Market

Post Time:May 10,2009Classify:Industry NewsView:264

Arch Aluminum and Glass in Tamarac, Fla., an architectural glass fabricator, and Konarka Technologies Inc., a solar plastic film producer based in New Bedford, Mass., have entered into a joint development agreement. Under the new agreement, the companies will explore development of a complete line of attractive, semi-transparent, glass building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) products called Active Solar Glass® (ASG).

Using Konarka’s semi-transparent Power Plastic®, ASG will come in a range of colors that will give architects and designers the ability to make every glass surface in a building a solar power plant. ASG will also incorporate other passive solar technologies, such as low-E coatings, that will result in the industry’s most energy-efficient line of window, skylights and curtainwalls.

“Konarka is making great strides with our aggressive plans to expand into various markets, including building and construction,” says Rick Hess, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Konarka. “Because our solar material is flexible, lightweight and semi-transparent, it integrates more easily 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 will advance the delivery of Konarka Power Plastic on a large-scale basis into this market segment.”

“Until today, aesthetic and performance concerns limited the ability of architects to use BIPV technology in their designs,” adds Arch CEO Leon Silverstein. “Today’s announcement is about the creation of a new product category, one that had been unavailable until now. 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.”

ASG will provide designers the ability to make every building envelope a visually attractive solar collector, with the choice of subtle red, blue and green colors. The companies note that the line also will offer unprecedented transparency. While much BIPV glass is largely opaque and suitable for use only in spandrel glass, Konarka’s film material is clear enough to be used in traditional vision applications and will offer the highest transparency of any BIPV glazing product on the market. In addition, the product will allow customers to take advantage of the traditional benefits of laminated glass, including safety, security, structural and sound protection.

With the ability to collect energy at up to 70 percent off-axis, ASG can harvest energy from nearly sunrise to sunset, and can even be used on vertical surfaces. The Konarka film is also bifacial, making ASG the only BIPV fenestration on the market that can harness energy from both indoor and outdoor light.

Konarka’s Power Plastic® was designed using a proprietary polymer-based, organic PV technology that the company says is free of hazardous materials and truly green.

Source: Konarka Technologies, Inc. Author: shangyi

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