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Posted on September 29, 2009 by  & 

Umbrella converts sunlight to electricity

Konarka Technologies Inc and SKYShades entered into a partnership last year to jointly develop the Powerbrella, an umbrella that converts sunlight into electricity to charge laptops, mobile phones, iPods and other portable devices. The initial focus for the al fresco umbrella is coffee shops, hotels and resorts.
Konarka's Power Plastic, a photovoltaic material that captures both indoor and outdoor light and converts it into direct current (DC) electrical energy, is applied to the canopy of the umbrella. The energy can be used immediately, stored for later use, or converted to other forms. Power Plastic can be applied to a limitless number of potential applications - from microelectronics to portable power, remote power and building-integrated applications.
"Konarka's photovoltaic materials are lightweight, flexible and more versatile than traditional solar materials so Konarka is the ideal choice for us to work with to investigate the possibilities of integrating solar technology into our shades," commented Barry Maranta, president and CEO at SKYShades.
Power is stored in batteries inside the stem of the umbrella, which also houses outlets to plug electronic equipment into for charging. Testing of the Powerbrella took place during 2008 in Orlando, Florida and products are expected on the market in the next few months.
Based in Orlando, Florida and Brisbane, Australia, with franchise partners across Asia and the Middle East, SKYShades specializes in the design, engineering and installation of high-tech, high quality tension membrane fabric structures for a comprehensive range of applications, such as hotels/resorts, playgrounds, schools, homes, restaurants, bars, shopping malls, recreation spaces, car dealerships, car washes, gas stations, walkways, theme parks and specialist architectural purposes.
By fitting large areas of tensioned-membrane canopies with organic photovoltaic panels, the potential for delivering 'clean' 'green' electricity to many areas is promising.
Source of images: PRWeb

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Posted on: September 29, 2009

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