Konarka Technologies has teamed with Arch Aluminum & Glass to develop building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) products using its polymer-based, organic photovoltaic (OPV) technology on glass. Arch Aluminum specializes in artistic and architectural glass products.
“Konarka is making great strides with our aggressive plans to expand into various markets, including building and construction,” commented Rick Hess, president and CEO of Konarka. “Because our solar material is flexible, lightweight and semitransparent, 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.”
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“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.”
According to a recent Lux Research report, the BIPV market is currently worth US$1.7 billion. Near-term growth would be limited due to lack of standardization and competition from the conventional building-applied photovoltaics (BAPV) approach. Many of the flexible and a-Si thin-film manufacturers are expecting to compete in the BIPV market.