Konarka Technologies Inc., of Lowell, Mass., announced it is developing photovoltaic (solar) fabric with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in French, or EPFL). Konarka said the joint research and development effort, dubbed The Photovoltaic Fibers and Textiles Based on Nanotechnology program, is expected to yield the first fully integrated woven photovoltaic material, which will allow for tighter integration of power generation capabilities into devices, systems and structures beyond what is possible with plastic film. The EPFL team is led by Jan-Anders Manson, the director of the Laboratory of Composite and Polymer Technology, who is known for his work as the scientific coordinator for the EPFL-Alinghi Project, which designed the yacht that won the 2003 Americas Cup. The undertaking is expected to last a year and is funded by the Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation.
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