NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 04 X2.01-9308
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Photovoltaic Solar Power Generation
PROPOSAL TITLE: Photovoltaic Wire

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Illuminex Corporation
627 Conestoga Blvd.
Lancaster, PA 17602-3821
(717)871-8971

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
John Steinbeck
john.steinbeck@illuminex.biz
627 Conestoga Blvd.
Lancaster, PA 17602-3821
(717)871-8971

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will investigate a new architecture for photovoltaic devices based on nanotechnology: photovoltaic wire. The device comprises an array of silicon nanowires about an aluminum core in a p-i-n junction structure. High conversion efficiency (> 20%) devices can be realized as a result of the high broadband absorption of the nanowire array structure arising from quantum dot-like effects using the periodicity of the nanowires in the array. This innovative device will make it possible to weave large two and three-dimensional photovoltaic panels that are light weight, can be stored in a small enclosure and have high power density in excess of 1000 W/kg. In addition, photovoltaic fabric power arrays can be directly integrated into many spacecraft subsystems such as space suits, instrumentation and solar propulsion systems. The low cost, high volume manufacturing processes used to build photovoltaic wire will allow the technology to be incorporated into a wide array of consumer applications in addition to high-end space systems.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
The proposed photovoltaic wire can be used to build solar panel fabrics for use in solar sail propulsion systems, large area, light weight solar panels and for integrated generation capacity in instrumentation and space suits.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
Photovoltaic wire can be used to build low cost, large area solar panels for consumer electricity generation. Integration of the wire into fabrics can produce portable power systems in tents, temporary shelters and panels for vehicles such as refrigeration vehicles. Integration of the wire into plasic cases can provide power for protable electronics.