Konarka Technologies Inc, which develops power plastics that change light into energy, is creating a photovoltaic fabric in conjunction with Swiss polytechnic school Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).

The two parties are developing a Photovoltaic Fibers and Textiles Based on Nanotechnology programme, which aims to produce the first fully integrated woven photovoltaic material.

Photovoltaic textiles have the potential to extend the integration of solar technology into items such as garments, tents or coverings.

Possible products may incorporate wearable power generation for mobile electronics.

Konarka and EPFL aim to maximise the strength, thickness and electrical performance of the photovoltaic fibre being developed, while working on the interweaving of fibres.

The end goal is a fabric sample with an efficiency rating of at least four per cent.