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May 15th, 2005
Earlier this month, Konarka Technologies of Lowell, Massachusetts, announced that it is supplying the Army with solar-powered battery chargers as part of a $1.6 million contract. The prototype devices use polymer photovoltaic plastic that can be rolled out to soak up the sun's rays and generate approximately six watts of electricity, according to Dan McGahn, Konarka's executive vice president.
McGahn says that unlike traditional rigid photovoltaic panels that are fabricated from layers of semiconductor material, Konarka's nano-based solar material is printed on a roll of polymer plastic similar to the way photographic film is created. The plastics are injected with chemicals that become active when exposed to sunlight or indoor light, and electrodes convert the chemical energy to electricity.
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