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Company History

In 2000, the U.S. Army provided funding for an elite team of scientists under the coordination of the Army's Natick, Massachusetts Laboratory to develop advanced photovoltaic technology for soldiers. The team achieved a remarkable breakthrough.

A photovoltaic grid can provide electricity to areas that are not served by traditional energy grids.
They discovered a new technology to facilitate materials processing at relatively low temperatures. This discovery enabled, for the first time, the use of a wide variety of low-cost polymers as the top and bottom surfaces of the photovoltaic cell. It also enabled the photovoltaic cells to be manufactured at a much higher speed. The resulting plastic based photovoltaic cells are efficient across a much broader spectrum of light than traditional solar cells, allowing them to be useful inside and out.

This breakthrough led to the founding of Konarka in July 2001. The revolutionary chemical process and the roll-to-roll manufacturing process are now patent pending. Since that time, Konarka has continued to refine the manufacturing process, increase the efficiency of its photovoltaic products, acquire key intellectual property from around the world, develop collaborations with leading research agencies, universities and global energy companies, and become the leader in developing products that provide a source of renewable power in a variety of form factors for commercial, industrial, government and consumer applications around the world.

The Meaning of “Konarka”
The worship of the sun has been a prominent phenomenon in many parts of the world throughout history. Konarka, the company, is named after Konarka, the temple built in Orissa, India, dedicated to the Hindu sun god Surya. The Konarka temple is the pinnacle of Hindu architecture and a priceless gem of Orissan art. Built in the 13th Century of black granite, it displays a chariot of the sun with seven horses, one for each day of the week, and twelve pairs of wheels, one for each month. It is considered an engineering wonder and one of the finest monuments of religious architecture in the world.

The Konarka Temple was one of the favorite places of the late Dr. Sukant K. Tripathy. Dr. Tripathy has inspired our work at Konarka. As a chemistry professor at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and Founder of the Center for Advanced Materials, Dr. Tripathy was responsible for establishing the University's Institute for NanoScience Engineering and Technology. During his 15 years at UMass Lowell, Dr. Tripathy became an internationally known scientist in the materials field and he helped the University to become a significant player in the emerging nanotechnology field.

 

The Konarka Sun Temple, located in Orissa, India, is dedicated to the sun god Surya. It is a masterpiece of Orissa's medieval architecture. The Konarka temple has been declared a world heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
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