NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 S3.03-8411
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Power Generation and Storage
PROPOSAL TITLE: Lightweight InP Solar cells for Space Applications

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
MicroLink Devices
6457 Howard Street
Niles, IL 60714 - 3301
(847) 588-3001

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Noren Pan
6457 Howard Street
Niles, IL 60714 - 3301
(847) 588-3001

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 3 to 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The innovation in this Phase I SBIR is the development of a technology which will enable the manufacture of a lightweight, low cost, InP based compound semiconductor material containing high efficiency multijunction solar cells suitable for deployment in very high altitude, very long endurance solar aircraft. The key technological step is the application of a production-worthy epitaxial liftoff (ELO) process to a multijunction solar cell structure fabricated on a large area InP substrate. Our focus will be on InP-based solar cells, in particular lattice-matched dual junction solar cell of InP and InGaAsP materials, because of the demonstrated radiation hardness of these materials. We will develop a road map towards InP solar cells capable of >30% conversion efficiency under AM0 illumination. We will also design a process by which thin epitaxial InP solar cell layers will be transferred onto very flexible conductive or non-conductive substrates. The resulting solar cell structures are expected to have a specific power >600 W/kg, to be capable of operating over temperatures in the range -80 ºC to 120 ºC and to have excellent reliability while exposed to space radiation levels

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This technology will be potentially applicable on many NASA space missions on which solar power is needed, particularly those utilizing solar electric propulsion (SEP). These missions include Comet Surface Sample Return (CSSR), Comet Nucleus Sample Return (CNSR), Mars Sample Return (MASR) and others.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
A major potential government application for lightweight, efficient solar cells is in for high altitude, long endurance (HALE) aircraft. These aircraft are proposed for remote surveillance applications in which the aircraft could remain on station for months or years. DARPA and the Air Force are currently working on HALE programs. Major potential non-government applications include solar panels for commercial spacecraft. The market for these systems is estimated to be ~1 MW per year. Another major market for solar cells will be for terrestrial energy production. The solar cells described in this proposal are particularly suitable for concentrator applications, in which a high efficiency cell is essential for economic viability. It is estimated that the market for solar cells will be ~350 MW at 500x concentration in 2012 (equivalent to 700 kW at 1x operation). The size of this market is estimated to be $173 million.

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.

Photovoltaic Conversion

Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50