Konarka and ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe to Develop Solar Steel Roof, Facades and Other Construction Elements for Building-Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) in Germany
Konarka Technologies, Inc., an innovator in development and commercialization of Konarka Power Plastic®, a lightweight, flexible material that converts light to electricity, today announced the company is working with the Color/Construction Unit of ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe, a leading supplier of steel construction elements in Germany, to develop steel roof and other construction elements for building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). The joint solar solution will be based on Konarka’s Power Plastic which easily replaces conventional building materials in roofs, skylights and facades.
“Konarka’s thin, light and flexible photovoltaic technology will be applied to our substrate materials in a continuous process, both cost-efficiently and eco-friendly, ideally integrating into our production process,” commented Dr. Lars Pfeiffer, head of quality and development at the Color/Construction unit. “Unlike conventional silicon-based photovoltaic systems, the joint solar solution will not need to be mounted on a raised structure but will integrate smoothly into the building envelope. We look forward to providing the valuable, added benefits of solar to our customers at a low cost.”
During ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe’s production process, the steel strip is coil coated with films, paint or plastic coatings. These continuous coating lines will be used to apply Konarka’s organic photovoltaic surface. Available in various colors, color combinations and sizes, the construction elements with Konarka’s Power Plastic will give planners and architects a great deal of design latitude.
Since organic solar cells make optimum use of the sun’s energy even with unfavorable incidence angles or in weak or diffused light, they are ideal for use on facades where photovoltaic systems have rarely been used. ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe plans to harness the potential for steel facade components.
“We have found a competent industrial partner in ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe,” commented Alex Valenzuela, Konarka’s vice president for business development in Europe. “They, too, use an automated roll-to-roll process in the production of their high-quality steel construction elements. Our capabilities are an ideal match.”
Konarka’s Power Plastic can be applied to various materials. In addition to steel, ideal substrates include glass and other construction materials as well as films and textiles.
About ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe
ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe AG and its subsidiaries make up the Steel Europe business area of the ThyssenKrupp Group. With a crude steel capacity of around 15 million metric tons per year, the company is Germany’s biggest steel producer and the second-biggest manufacturer of flat carbon steel in Europe. Including its subsidiaries, ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe generated sales of around 10.8 billion euros last fiscal year and employed roughly 35,000 people. The company is focused on the high-end segment of the flat carbon steel market and is regarded as a technology leader in steel production. For more information, visit: http://www.thyssenkrupp-steel-europe.com/de/.
About Konarka Technologies, Inc.
Konarka Technologies develops and manufactures solar plastic films that convert light to electricity – anywhere. As the leading developer of polymer-based, organic photovoltaic (OPV) technology that provides a source of renewable power in a variety of form factors, Konarka has a broad portfolio of patents, technology licenses and an accomplished technical, scientific and manufacturing team. Manufactured at low cost and low energy consumption, the company’s Konarka Power Plastic® technology is lightweight, flexible, scalable and adaptable for use in a variety of commercial, industrial, government and consumer applications. Konarka Technologies is headquartered in Lowell, Mass., U.S.A. and has a full scale production manufacturing facility in New Bedford, Mass. U.S.A., with European headquarters in Nürnberg, Germany, a business development office in Japan and a research and development facility in Austria. For additional information, visit http://www.konarka.com.