Magnolia Solar Corp. announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Magnolia Solar Inc., recently received a $750,000 Phase II award from the United States Air Force Research Laboratory as part of the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program. The award will fund a two-year project to develop flexible, lightweight, ultra-high efficiency multi-junction solar cells for space power applications.
This award follows a Phase I program that demonstrated that Magnolia’s approach to simultaneously increase the current and voltage output of photovoltaic devices for space power applications. The Phase II award is to optimize the device and apply advanced anti-reflective coatings to build ultra-high efficiency flexible solar power solutions for defense applications. Magnolia is building a patent portfolio around its proprietary technologies for this award and other work with government funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the National Aeronautical Space Administration. Recently Magnolia announced demonstration of several significant milestones and this award provides a pathway to support its ultimate goal of developing low-cost, high-efficiency, thin-film solar cells for commercial and defense requirements.
Dr. Ashok K. Sood, President and CEO of Magnolia Solar Corp., stated, “Photovoltaic devices can provide a mobile source of electrical power for a variety of military applications in space and terrestrial environments. Many of these applications can directly benefit from enhancements in the efficiency of the photovoltaic devices. In particular, flexible, lightweight, high-efficiency solar cells are needed to maximize the power-generating capability of space, ground-based, and air-based defense applications. The patent-pending technology developed during this program is expected to have immediate market opportunities for defense applications. We look forward to continuing our partnerships with MicroLink Devices and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute during this Phase II program.”
Dr. Roger E. Welser, Magnolia’s Chief Technical Officer, observed, “Current approaches to increase the efficiency of multi-junction structures typically used for space power generation are reaching practical limitations due to fundamental constraints in conventional multi-junction device design. By combining wide and narrow bandgap material within each p-n junction, quantum-structured solar cells can overcome these constraints and increase the current and the voltage output of each subcell within a multi-junction solar cell. The Phase I effort leveraged the epitaxial liftoff process developed at MicroLink Devices in Niles, IL, and has demonstrated the validity of Magnolia’s extended heterojunction photovoltaic device concept. Ultimately our approach provides a pathway for obtaining thin, flexible, multi-junction solar cells with efficiency approaching 40 percent.”
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