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Energy Generation Devices for Consumer Electronic Appliances

SpecialChem / Donald Rosato – Jul 18, 2014

World events, Kyoto Protocol goals and soaring energy costs have ignited renewed interest in solar cell energy, and have unleashed dramatic new technology thrusts. Advances in nanotechnology and inherently conductive polymers (ICPs) are making possible the development by Konarka Technologies Inc. of new photovoltaic (PV) cells that promise to make solar energy inexpensive, unobtrusive and readily available. These new plastic solar cells coined 'Power Plastic,' are produced by coating or printing ICPs and nano-engineered materials onto a polyethylene substrate in a continuous roll-to-roll process similar to photographic film. The materials used by Konarka in its solar cells and utilize a wider range of the light spectrum including visible and invisible light, can be tuned for specific wavelengths of light, and unlike traditional PV materials, the plastic substrate can conform to irregular shapes. The resulting light-activated power plastic is lightweight, flexible, low cost, and has more versatile applications than traditional silicon-based solar panels.

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