Konarka Technologies (Massachusetts) signed a $ 1,6 million contract with the US Army for military applications of its ultralight photovoltaic cells capable of being integrated directly into plastics and textiles.
The Army, whose field equipment (from GPS to night vision goggles) is increasingly dependent on an electricity supply, is considering the development of various devices (uniforms, tents, etc.) based on this technology in order to to replace the traditional batteries and other diesel generators currently used to power or recharge equipment. This would lighten the load carried by the infantry.
The agreement reached also underlines the interest of a process developed by the company allowing a pattern to be printed on photovoltaic materials without altering their efficiency. The method in question is based on the use of photosensitive dyes adsorbed by nanoparticles of titanium dioxide. USAT 05/05/05 (Army to get energy-converting sheeting)