Curley & Pynn
SKYShades Receives First Shipment of Konarka Power Plastic® to Set Stage for Clean Energy Architectural Revolution
Tension-Membrane Shade Structure and Lightweight Solar Thin Film Combine to Maximize Outdoor Enjoyment and Technological Productivity
Longwood, Fla. (April 1, 2009) – Solar technology met architectural wonder when SKYShades® and Konarka Technologies Inc. entered into a technology partnership a year ago. After a year of testing, SKYShades has received its first shipment of Konarka Power Plastic® thin film, which converts light to energy, in order to begin mass production of its first product the Powerbrella™.
The Powerbrella™ incorporates the lightweight Power Plastic® on the surface of SKYShades’ retractable and fixed architectural SKYbrella. Designed for use at outdoor venues such as cafés and restaurants, hotel and resort swimming pools and outdoor lounges, the Powerbrella™ provides customers coverage from the sun while that energy is used to power their laptop, cell phone or other portable devices.
Testing on the Powerbrella™ took place throughout 2008 at Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando, Fla. Physics students at Lake Highland measured the effectiveness of the Powerbrella™ to withstand the elements, the ability of the attached Power Plastic® panels to generate clean green energy and the amount of resulting power that could be stored in batteries for reuse.
The arrival of the first significant quantity of the thin film will also allow SKYShades to build its first prototype parking structure to be announced soon. Eventually, the combination of the thin film Power Plastic® and the tension-membrane shade structures developed by SKYShades will allow many different outdoor locations, including covered car parking areas, car washes, stadiums, amphitheatres and retro-fitted roofs to capture power that could be stored for use or sold back into the electrical grid.
Powerbrella™ is expected to be available for purchase by the third quarter of 2009.
Founded in Australia and recognized as a world leader in creating tension-membrane shade fabric structures, Longwood, Florida-based SKYShades is using cutting-edge technology to reduce sun exposure and develop clean green energy sources. The company is the first in its industry to offer franchise opportunities, and through a partnership with Konarka Technologies is incorporating thin film solar energy cells into its shade structures. SKYShades’ visually attractive structures create an identity and offer an attractive and less expensive alternative to brick and mortar shading in applications from resorts, playgrounds and schools to malls and recreation spaces. For more information, visit www.skyshades.com.
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