Konarka Power Plastic Coming to Residential Home Solar Power
Konarka Plastic solar panels are helping change solar installation. Photo Credit: Konarka
Power Plastic by Konarka is an exciting product that could soon be used in residential home solar power. According to the Konarka website, “Power Plastic can be applied to a limitless number of potential applications – from microelectronics to portable power, remote power and building-integrated applications.” These could expand into power for military tents or other like structures. And Power Plastic generates electricity from both directions, inside and out, which means that the lights you burn help refuel themselves.
Power Plastic currently comes tinted red, but Konarka is testing a clear version that will likely expand Power Plastic’s usability as a home window replacement. However, don’t expect Power Plastic to outperform or outlast conventional methods of generating solar electricity. Power Plastic’s top-rated efficiency is around the low end of the standard PV panel spectrum and its lifespan is nowhere near the average PV panel’s 25-year warranty.
The problem with Power Plastic’s low efficiency is the amount of direct light that is wasted. Since most residential windows are vertical, there is already a limited amount of direct exposure. PV Glass exists and functions somewhat like Power Plastic, but because of the deep glass tint of PV panels, it is most common as an overhead solar installation. Overhead, the tint of PV glass becomes a semi-transparent roof that allows some light into the space while generating electricity at the same time.
Founded in 2006, Konarka has received multiple awards for its innovation in the solar industry. Most recently, Konarka was honored as the AlwaysOn Going Green Winner in February of this year. Konarka was selected by the AlwaysOn editors because of the company’s “demonstration of growth, market opportunity, quality of innovation and customer traction.”
The big key to Konarka’s stability in any market, especially the residential market, will be the durability and true field lifespan of Power Plastic. If Power Plastic doesn’t last, it won’t sell. It’s as simple as that.
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