Magnolia Solar, developer of revolutionary thin-film solar cell technologies employing nanostructured materials and designs, announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary, Magnolia Solar, Inc., received a $750,000 Phase II award from the United States Air Force as part of the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program.
The goal of this two-year program is to develop ultra-high efficiency, thin-film solar cells for space power applications. The work on this contract complements the work on high-efficiency solar cells previously funded by the Air Force and announced in November 2011. Both of these funded contracts are supporting Magnolia Solar's development program.
Photovoltaic devices can provide a mobile source of electrical power for a variety of defense and commercial applications in both space and terrestrial environments. Many of these mobile power applications can directly benefit from enhancements in the efficiency of the photovoltaic devices. Today, state-of-the-art photovoltaic devices employ multi-junction designs that have achieved efficiencies over 30% in normal sunlight and exceed 40% under concentration. However, current approaches are reaching practical limits due to the complexity and cost of the multi-junction device design. The funding to Magnolia Solar from the Air Force is intended for the build out of these nanostructured solar cells that have the potential to deliver ultra-high efficiencies in single-junction devices; efficiencies that can potentially approach 50% in un-concentrated sunlight. We believe single-junction solar cells are inherently less complex than multi-junction cells and will potentially provide ultra-high efficiency at a lower cost.
Dr. Ashok K. Sood, President and CEO of Magnolia Solar Corporation, stated, "We are working to improve the efficiency of photovoltaic devices via novel materials combined with innovative device designs. Quantum dot structures with excellent structural and optical properties were demonstrated during the Phase I program and are intended to be incorporated into advanced photovoltaic devices during the Phase II effort. These structures have the potential to enable photovoltaic devices to reach new levels of performance for power output efficiency."