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Project Brief

Transparent, Flexible Solar Modules Based on Bulk-Heterojunction Organic Photovoltaic Technology

Develop high-performance, transparent photovoltaic cells and modules that will help establish solar technology as a vital part of the renewable energy industry.

Sponsor: Konarka Technologies, Inc.

116 John Street
Lowell, MA 01852
  • Project Performance Period: 1/1/2008 - 6/13/2013
  • Total project (est.): $9,652,352.00
  • Requested ATP funds: $4,729,674.00

Konarka Technologies, Inc., together with Air Products and Chemicals (Allentown, Pa.), have proposed work on high-performance, transparent photovoltaic cells and modules to promote solar energy technology. Organic photovoltaic (OPV) technology is unique among solar energy alternatives in offering the potential for tunable transparency, capable of absorbing narrowly or broadly in one or more regions of the visible and near-infrared spectrum. Konarka and Air Products plan to research and develop flexible OPV modules capable of converting solar energy into electric power. Konarka plans to further develop its patented, transparent, metallic grid electrode technology for the new cell and module architecture. Air Products plans to develop high-conductivity polymers with more efficient charge injection capability in OPV cells. The proposed work contemplates developing processes for making a sufficient quantity of high-conductivity polymers for advanced prototype testing. A technical risk exists wherein printable metallic grids in combination with polymers having charge carrier transport properties must be developed that go well beyond the current state of the art. If technically successful, the proposed technology could be integrated into a variety of commercial and residential applications to provide power and optical transparency to any pre-selected region of the visible spectrum. The technology could be suitable for use in windows capable of controlling transparency for privacy, regulating the wavelength of light passing through for energy conservation, and for aesthetic purposes. As a result of the material's ability to harvest indoor light as well as outdoor light, the OPV modules could be integrated into building sensors, battery chargers, lighting and displays, and wireless security monitoring systems.

For project information:
Tracy Wemett, (617) 868-5031

Active Project Participants
  • Cambridge Major Laboratories, Inc. (Germantown, MD)
    [New Member since original JV was formed]

ATP Project Manager
Michael Schen, (301) 975-6741

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