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Very High Specific Power III-IV Solar Cells in a Rugged, Flexible, Low-Cost "Solar Blanket"

 
 
 
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Overview

This technology has the potential to enable a paradigm shift in flexible photovoltaic devices for the military, through the use of ultra-high performance multijunction solar cells that deliver industry-leading specific power, but in a concentrator configuration that has dramatically lower cost. The technology uses multi-junction III-V cells in combination with a total-internal-reflection (TIR) flexible sheet solar concentrator.

The novel element introduced here is the use of high efficiency solar cells in optical packages that employ low levels of concentration, designed to work effectively without tracking the sun. The modules will be lightweight, rollable, and designed to generate high levels of battery charging energy with a horizontal deployment. The final product will meet the key goals of

• Cost ($50/W)

• Flexible (bend radius ≤6”)

Efficiency (20%)

Lightweight (1W/g on a solar cell level)