High specific power and cost effective solar array for spacecraft, lighter than air vehicles, and UAVs

Award Information
Department of Defense
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase I
Award Id:
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
UW Fluke Hall Box 352141, 4000 Mason Road, Suite 304, Seattle, WA, -
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Alex Jen
(206) 543-2626
Business Contact:
Terri Butler
Director of Operation
(425) 417-1862
Research Institution:
University of Washington
Lynette F Arias
4333 Brooklyn Ave NE Box 35947
Seattle, WA, 98195-9472
(206) 543-4043
Nonprofit college or university
ABSTRACT: The objective of this STTR proposal is to develop and demonstrate a radiation hardened organic-based solar array adaptable to nanosatellites which exhibits flexibility, variable topology, high specific power, and low cost. Organic photovoltaics (OPVs) represent a transformative technology with great potential for extremely high-throughput manufacturing at very low cost. They have the potential to serve as lightweight, flexible, conformal, and low-cost solid-state power sources for space applications. Prof. Alex Jen at the University of Washington will team up with Soluxra, LLC to develop a large-area flexible OPV module that is suitable for nanosatellite application with adequate radiation hardness and power/weight efficiency. There are three specific objectives in this program: 1) Develop novel interface materials and device structures to reduce interfacial charge recombination loss in order to circumvent the radiation-induced interfacial degradation in OPVs; 2) Develop a large-area fabrication process for ITO-free, flexible OPV module with over 7.5% module efficiency and demonstrate superior mechanical flexibility that is required for integrating with the nanosatellite system; 3) Design a deployment scheme for the OPV-based integrated nanostallite system taking into account of different parameters such as stow volume, module weight, and power/weight efficiency. BENEFIT: Soluxra is a technology innovation company that develops tailored functional materials and new device platforms for large-scale photonic integration and energy-related electronic applications to improve their performance and energy efficiency. The company designs and supplies leading edge and application-tailored electronic and photonic materials to the semiconductor, telecommunications, and clean energy industries. Soluxra's OPV technology is on track to serve as lightweight, flexible, conformal, and low-cost solid-state power sources for various types of applications. In addition to developing novel geometries, we expect to reduce solar electricity cost to a level that is competitive with the current fossil fuel based energy. The ultimate cost of electricity generated by organic photovoltaic technology is dependent on three critical parameters: 1) efficiency; 2) production cost and; 3) lifetime. The success achieved in this proposal will help advance all three parameters, which will strengthen Soluxra's patent-protected organic photovoltaic technology and give Soluxra a strong competitive edge over current technology. The availability of light-weight, flexible, low-cost and deployable solar cells will significantly benefit not only the space and military applications, but also the commercial sector, providing portable power for use in a wide variety of situations.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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