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Konarka and ThyssenKrupp Steel cooperate on solar BIPV

Konarka Technologies Inc and the Color/Construction Unit of ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe will cooperate on developing steel roof and other construction elements for solar building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV).

By Kari Williamson

The joint solar solution will be based on Konarka’s Power Plastic which can be used to replace conventional building materials in roofs, skylights and façades.

“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,” says 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.”

In 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 solar PV surface. Konarka's solar PV surface is available in various colours and sizes.

“We have found a competent industrial partner in ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe,” adds 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.”

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Green building  •  Photovoltaics (PV)