Flexible Photovoltaics for Fabric Structures
Agency / Branch:
DOD / ARMY
Demand for electrical power in portable and temporary installations continues to increase, which adds significant logistical burden in terms of weight, maintenance, and fuel demand. Power demands include command & control operations, medical operations,lighting, chemical/biological filtering, and communications. Iowa Thin Film Technologies (ITFT) manufactures a unique, flexible, thin film photovoltaic material on plastic which could be incorporated into the skins of military tentage to significantlyreduce this logistical burden. ITFT's technology is a monolithically integrated module on plastic film manufactured using a roll-to-roll process. These factors combine to give extreme flexibility, light weight, and durability while maintaining a lowmanufacturing cost. This proposal addresses the R&D work needed to develop the technology for integrating the photovoltaic into tent skins without seriously compromising current tentage characteristics. In this phase we propose to identify candidatematerials and process steps for incorporating our flexible thin film PV modules into tent panels and to demonstrate feasibility by fabricating samples of the top candidates and evaluating these samples for their mechanical properties and processingscalability.This project is expected to result in production of tentage with integrated photovoltaics to supply power for lighting and operations. This technology for incorporating photovoltaics with fabrics could be extended into garments, packs, orlightweight, compact fold-up arrays for powering communications or other personnel carried electronics. Extension of this technology to non-military applications include emergency shelters for disaster relief and portable power for cellular phones andlaptop computers.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Business Contact:Steven Martens
IOWA THIN FILM TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
2337 230th St Boone, IA 50036
Number of Employees: