NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 X8.04-8351
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Advanced Photovoltaic Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: High specific power flexible integrated IMM photovoltaic blanket

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Nanohmics, Inc.
6201 East Oltorf Street, Suite 400
Austin, TX 78741 - 7509
(512) 389-9990

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Qizhen "Jim" Xue
6201 East Oltorf Street, Suite 400
Austin, TX 78741 - 7509
(512) 389-9990

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 1
End: 2

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Originally designed for space applications, multi-junction solar cells have a high overall power conversion efficiency (>30%) which compares favorably to amorphous silicon, CIGS and bulk heterojunction photovoltaic devices which are limited to <10%. Recent advances in manufacturing of Inverted Metamorphic Multi-junction (IMM) solar cells have opened new opportunities to greatly improve the specific power of the devices by means of removal of the epitaxial substrate. To date, flexible high efficiency IMMs have been fabricated and demonstrated in the framework of a space cell with IMMs released from the epitaxial substrate onto traditional coverglass. An increasing larger body of research is aimed at populating large area "blankets" with IMMs and this has led to a number of approaches that includes removal of rigid epitaxy growth substrates and adherence to lightweight flexible webs or polymer films. So far, there is no economic and fast approach to efficiently remove the growth substrate.

Nanohmics proposes to develop a non-destructive approach for transfer of IMM solar devices from rigid growth substrates into flexible high specific power solar cell blankets. The method will enable integration of state-of-the-art photovoltaics into a large area conformal "blanket" for space applications. The proposed effort will include development of a novel sacrificial intermediate layer on which high efficiency IMM photovoltaics are epitaxially deposited.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Nanohmics has targeted a method for generating hybrid inorganic cell/polymeric films using a low-cost continuous web process that will impact solar cell markets by providing a compelling advantage for increasing the specific power of the devices (W/kg) and the much lower production cost per unit area ($/W/m2). Specific power is a key figure of merit for applications such as spaceborne and high altitude power devices that have extremely tight total mass budgets (~ $10,000/ launched lb.) Coupled with the proposed low-cost, continuous-web method, both spaceflight and terrestrial-based markets will expand with the proposed novel technology

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In the global solar cell industry, the formation of efficient IMM cells with power conversion efficiencies greater than ~ 25% will enable cost-effective wide spread adoption of alternative solar power photovoltaics. These devices will have promise in a number of markets outside NASA and military space asset applications including:

? Passive energy scavenging for portable electronics
? Tarps, tents, awnings and other conformal shelters
? Apparel (athletic wear, military uniforms, electrotextiles)
? Marine covers, seat covers including ship sails
? Radiation hardened intrinsic materials will be enablde for flexible space applications where high specific power and low stowed volume that can be expanded into large area collectors.
? Flexible solar collectors that are impact resistant

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.)
Sources (Renewable, Nonrenewable)

Form Generated on 11-22-11 13:43