California Energy Commission Awards Grant to Konarka
Konarka Technologies Inc. (Lowell, MA), a developer and manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) nanomaterials products that convert light to energy, announced that the California Energy Commission is earmarking funds from its Energy Innovations Small Grant Program for Konarka. The grant will be used to accelerate Konarka's efforts to bring aesthetically integrated, plastic PV to the roofing market.
Over the next 12 months, Konarka will apply this grant to examining the potential for coating patterned power plastic roofing materials that mimic the appearance of traditional roofing products. Aesthetics and cost have been key hurdles in increasing market penetration for renewable PV power in the residential roofing market, but Konarka's materials will look like a conventional roof.
They will include embedded renewable energy generation functionality, rather than require consumers to purchase and install separate aftermarket solar panels as is typically done now. These Konarka-enhanced roofing materials will cost less, blend with the aesthetics of the building and help consumers avoid violating their roofs' warranties when going green.