Next-generation thin-film technology start-up NanoFlex Power said it was part of a consortium awarded a US$6.5 million contract from the US Army Research Laboratory’s Army Research Office to develop high power, flexible, and lightweight solar modules for portable power applications.

The consortium consists of NanoFlex, SolAero Technologies, a manufacturer of high efficiency solar cells, the University of Michigan (UM), and the University of Wisconsin (UW).  

As part of the program, NanoFlex and solar cell developer SolAero Technologies would collaborate on incorporating non-destructive epitaxial lift off (ND-ELO) process and related technologies into SolAero’s fabrication process to reduce the production cost of ultra-high efficiency compound semiconductor solar cells. The University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin are also participating in the four year program.

Dean Ledger, Chief Executive Officer of NanoFlex said, “Until now, high performance compound semiconductor solar cells have not been available to the Army at reasonable prices. This program will enable the development and use of TRL-7 flexible solar module prototypes with more than twice current power performance at a competitive price to the Army.”

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