NUREMBERG, Germany-- Konarka Technologies, Inc., an innovator in development and commercialization of Power Plastic, a material that converts light to energy, announced Germany's Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is supporting a future oriented development project through a consortium that is headed by Konarka, and is providing funding of nearly EUR 2.5 million over the next three years. The project, called "OPV stability" targets to significantly increase the lifespan of organic solar cells (OSC) with the goal of yielding competitive organic photovoltaics (OPV) for potential commercial use.
Established to develop stable organic solar modules, the consortium consists of renowned academic partners including University Tübingen, University Wuppertal, Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich and the Max-Planck-Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz.
"The partners of this BMBF initiative are participating to break through technological and economic barriers in innovation in the field of organic photovoltaics," commented Christoph Brabec, CTO at Konarka. "We are expected to make significant contributions to extending the lifespan of organic solar cells, ultimately delivering future organic photovoltaic technology with increased commercial attractiveness."
Organic solar cells are flexible, semi-transparent and extremely inexpensive to produce, yielding huge potential for the future, but existing barrier materials result in a limited lifespan. Significantly higher life expectancy can only be realized by combining high-quality encapsulation with high intrinsic stability of photoactive materials, which is the focus of the BMBF Stability Project. There have been many improvements in OSC technology in the recent past, but due mostly to improved packaging of cells rather than an extension of the lifespan.
The BMBF recently announced that it is also supporting a future-oriented development project by a consortium of renowned companies, including Konarka, which aims to develop innovative polymeric solar cells for energy-autonomous systems. The BMBF Efficiency Project is expected to yield solar cells that are optimized for specific applications with efficiencies of more than 10% and are highly competitive with other PV technologies.
About Konarka Technologies
Konarka develops and manufactures solar plastic films that convert light to energy—anywhere. As the leading developer of polymer-based, organic photovoltaic (OPV) technology that provide a source of renewable power in a variety of form factors, Konarka has a broad portfolio of patents, technology licenses and an accomplished technical, scientific and manufacturing team. Manufactured at low cost and low energy consumption, the company's Power Plastic technology is lightweight, flexible, scalable and adaptable for use in a variety of commercial, industrial, government and consumer applications. Konarka Technologies is headquartered in Lowell, MA, U.S.A. and has a full scale production manufacturing facility in New Bedford, MA, U.S.A., with European headquarters in Nuremberg, Germany, business development offices in Asia and a research and development facility in Austria.