In late 2012, the US Air Force awarded a contract to Ascent Solar Technologies, a Colorado-based developer of thin-film PV modules, for an Air Force Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant.
The SBIR contract – worth $750,000 – is still in the stages of finalization, and is expected to run for two years.
Ascent Solar aims to develop a next-generation photovoltaic product that builds upon its award-winning flexible copper-indium-gallium-diselenide (CIGS) technology.
The state-of-the-art high-efficiency modules allow for seamless integration of solar power into many applications without the restrictions of conventional glass solar panels.
Credit: Ascent Solar
“Solar cells perform best at lower temperatures, but they can get hot during normal operation,” said Victor Lee, President and CEO at Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc.
“Modifying our existing technology can improve its performance at higher temperatures. This Air Force program builds upon significant work already conducted by our team in this area,” he added.
“After program completion, we envision a new product that will perform over 30% better under some operating conditions that utilize process modifications that can be used in our existing manufacturing line.”