PVT Clean Energy has been selected for the 2022 NASA SBIR Phase I award

PVT Clean Energy has been selected for the 2022 NASA SBIR Phase I award. The team will work on the material development and structural design of a relocatable lightweight mounting system for a 50kW-class photovoltaic array, as part of NASA’s Artemis project to build establishments on the moon.

The proposed technology addresses the need for larger lunar surface arrays by using a 5x large deployed area of 188 m2 for ~60 kW of solar blankets. It is not a simple multiplication of the deployed area but causes more complicated issues for stability, the ultimate strength of the materials, and large deformation under the loading combinations. A holistic approach is proposed to design and deploy the system at both material and structural levels. The foldable structure provides unique convenience for packaging, installation, deployment and retraction. Particularly, because the vertical structure is protected by an inflatable envelope with small members, the temperature-induced bending will be much reduced. The smart mounting fixture provides in-plane stiffness to thin film PV modules. It can significantly optimize stress transfer through multiple load paths. Particularly, this mechanism creates feasibility to bring space-based technology back to the earth. Temporary solar arrays can be set up for shading and energy supply to remote communities or rescue sites after extreme weather.


The highly efficient lightweight thin-film cell is ideal for unmanned aerial vehicles; the vertical structure can be used for energy harvesting and shading for residential and commercial buildings; the smart mounting fixture can be used for building integrated photovoltaic systems; the ultra-lightweight composite can be used for vehicles, naval vessels, aircraft, and building structures.

Link: https://sbir.nasa.gov/SBIR/abstracts/22/sbir/phase1/SBIR-22-1-H5.01-2788.html