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Posted on December 28, 2011 by  & 

Konarka Technologies & Webasto collaborate

Konarka Technologies and Webasto collaborate for organic solar application in automotive industry

Konarka Technologies, Inc., an innovator in development and commercialization of Konarka Power Plastic®, a lightweight, flexible organic solar film that converts light to electricity, have collaborated with Webasto, one of the world's top 100 automotive suppliers. The companies will be integrating Konarka's Power Plastic organic solar cells in Webasto's automobile roofing systems.
Webasto specializes in developing and producing automobile roof systems and has taken on a leading role in the application of new materials and innovative roofs.
"We are pleased to be able to work with this forward looking company," says Alexander Valenzuela, Konarka's vice president of business development Europe. "We deliver our Power Plastic technology with the parameters that Webasto needs for its products. Our organic solar cells have special features including transparency, availability in different colors, as well as being flexible and lightweight."
Webasto is a pioneer for solar technology in the automotive sector. For over 20 years the company has been developing and producing automobile roof systems with solar functionality. With the world's growing number of electronic and hybrid vehicles, the company's expertise for solar modules in roof systems is becoming more significant. Webasto plans on integrating organic solar cells from Konarka in automobile roofs.
Dr. Jörg Löffler, global vice president of Product Group Efficiency Technologies explains, "We have had extensive discussions with automobile manufacturers on the value of organic solar cells. The organic solar cells from Konarka offer a transparent, light and cost-effective solution for use in roof systems. The main task of the collaboration will be increasing the efficiency of the solar cells to magnitudes suitable for automobiles."
Konarka works with high level OEM partners, like Webasto, to develop Power Plastic for commercial uses. The automotive sector is a target market for Konarka and building integrated projects (BIPV) remain central to the company.
Organic solar cells are flexible, unbreakable, non-toxic and are made of recyclable materials. To date, they have achieved efficiencies independently lab certified at a world record 8.4% and are characterized by better weak light behavior than alternative technologies. Performance is very good at sub-optimal angle of incidence as well as at elevated temperature unlike traditional photovoltaic material. With Power Plastic, carbon molecules (fullerene and semi-conducting polymers) generate electricity under the influence of light. The solar cells are printed in a cost-effective, roll-to-roll process in various widths and lengths.
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