Konarka’s Power Plastic Turns Buildings into Power Plants
Solar energy innovator Konarka is out to prove that you can have your sustainable cake and eat it, too. The Massachusetts-based company has launched a pilot project that will integrate its proprietary Power Plastic solar panels into the non-loadbearing exterior wall of a building, called acurtain wall. The new design makes solar energy a seamless part of the building rather than an afterthought.
The solar energy curtain wall project will be constructed in Tamarac, Florida, at an office building owned by Arch Aluminum & Glass Co., Inc. Arch and Konarka have teamed up to demonstrate that an active solar glass wall could enable the structure of a building to generate sustainable energy for its internal operations. For now the partners appear to be focused on commercial and industrial applications, but if the curtain wall proves cost-effective it could also open the door for integrated solar panels in a wide range of residential and institutional structures.