Konarka Receives $1.6 Million Product Contract with Army

May 03, 2005 by Jeff Shepard

Konarka Technologies Inc. (Lowell, MA), a developer of photovoltaic (PV) nanomaterials, announced that the company has signed a $1.6 million contract with the United States Army. As part of this new program, Konarka's light-activated power plastic will provide critical power supply to soldier systems and Army support infrastructure to ensure that soldiers can become less dependent on supply logistics and locally available power sources to charge batteries. Konarka will deliver its renewable energy generation capabilities to the Army in the devices, systems and structures that are normally deployed for remote operations.

"The battlefield is going digital. Everything from night vision goggles to GPS units to two-way communicators is powered by batteries, and special operations soldiers can carry 70 lbs to 100 lbs of replacement batteries for their electronics," said Konarka Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Daniel Patrick McGahn. "Our power plastic can have a significant impact on reducing the modern Army's logistics load. As we've developed our technology, we've envisioned a broad set of products well suited for military applications, and each one of these applications translates into the commercial sector as well, including mobile phones, PDAs, digital music players, security systems, roofing material and recreation equipment."

As part of this new program, Konarka also will perfect its ability to print camouflage-patterned power plastic to maintain a low visible profile and continue to improve the performance of its PV fibers and fabrics. Power-generating textiles could be used for soldiers' uniforms, tents, field hospitals, covers for trucks and gun emplacements, and wearable electronics.