Konarka generates renewable power for Army

Konarka Technologies Inc., a developer of power plastics that convert light to energy, signed a $1.6 million contract with the U.S. Army as part of a program to deliver power to soldiers, officials from the Lowell, Mass.-based company said.

Under the program, Konarka will supply its renewable energy generation capabilities in different types of equipment and structures.

Some of the devices include portable AA battery chargers for individual soldiers, structures such as tents that produce power for charging or direct use, and sensor systems that enable unattended operation without regular maintenance to replace battery power.

"Everything from night vision goggles to GPS units to two-way communicators is powered by batteries, and special operations soldiers can carry 70 to 100 pounds of replacement batteries for their electronics," said Daniel Patrick McGahn, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Konarka.

"Our power plastic can have a significant impact on reducing the modern Army's logistics load," he said.

As part of the program, Konarka will perfect its ability to print camouflage-patterned power plastics. Power-generating textiles could be used for soldiers' uniforms, tent, field hospitals and covers for trucks.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Washington Technology.

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