Rear Solar is ready to meet the needs of the new space industry with cheaper, better solar panels – Tech Crunch

Math is very basic. How many satellites will go up in the next ten years? How many solar panels do you need? And how many are being produced that fit the bill? The answers are – many, a Hell Too much and not enough. That is what he intended to achieve with the razor solar signal by reducing the cost of space-saving solar panels by 90%.

It’s not exactly a small goal, but fortunately science and the market seem to favor it, giving the company something to offer. The challenge is to find a balance between cost and performance that is relatively easy to produce. Of course, the simple answer is over there, Someone was already doing that.

Solar cells used on the surface of the planet are very different from those used in space. Because there are a few sizes and bulk limits here. You can make cells bigger, heavier and more efficient – and much cheaper. Space solar cells, on the other hand, are much more efficient, much simpler, and require the ability to withstand a wide range of environmental hazards, such as radiation and temperature fluctuations: high-volume production processes and expensive materials that use five to 10 times less.

Razor Solar has created a spatial solar cell, although it does not reach those specific space solar levels, it is not that far away — but it does charge a small portion and can work with existing processes in moderation. If you are building a single $ 200 million geothermal satellite, you do not have to pay for the best panels out there as it is only a fraction of the total cost. But if you want to deploy 10,000 small satellites in a short lifespan, the panels will start producing a lot of material, and the 20% performance doesn’t seem bad.

Stanisla Herrasmenka, CEO and co-founder of Regger, explains that there is no magic bullet for their products, but rather many more improvements and what is needed for the new space economy.

“Technology has improved at a lower cost and in a lower position,” he said. “Space panels start with the most expensive substrate, usually germanium or gallium arsenide, and many more expensive processes. Then there is space-level connection, expensive glass and carbon fiber or aluminum flooring, hand assembly… high performance and low damage, but not fully expandable. If they wanted 10 times as much, they couldn’t do it. ”

However, we are clearly going to double, triple, and finally launch 10X to satellites. They can’t slap earth cells there — they fall off quickly — and the tried and true III-V cells don’t have enough stock. So Regger took the best of both worlds to make their cells ready, but cheap And Can be done in a hurry.

A razor-flexible silicone solar cell made of 20 micron silicone pads. Image Credits: Razor Solar

“We are currently constructing an R&D pilot line for small panels – 50 kW, about 5% of the space industry,” he said. But because we designed it with silicone, and the package is compatible with automation, we need to be able to move 10 megawatts more than 10 times that of a pilot in a year.

Even though the product is new, it does not use any strange or unfamiliar techniques, so it may be possible to upgrade it. Here is a list of some of the changes that have been made by Herazymeka to achieve space-like performance at geographical values.

First, they lower the thickness of the silicone pad, which means that it is less susceptible to radiation. They also changed the dirt and doping in it to allow it to heal at low temperatures, allowing it to be repaired by heating it to 80 degrees Fahrenheit[80 ° C]. Coverage, interconnection and connection are space-stable. There is also room for sunscreen to cover the surface. The plan is also to make them more flexible (as shown in the pictures here), better fit unusual shapes, and increase physical strength.

The laboratory technician demonstrates the flexibility of the regimen "Sun blankets."

A laboratory technician shows the flexibility of a razor “sun blanket”. Image Credits: Razor Solar

Knowing how far away it is depends on the cost of the satellite and the intended life of the particular constellation. It’s the opposite, but if their satellites are too good, it could be a threat to a constellation like Starlink. With thousands of satellites, Unite Economics will come into operation – and if the proposed plan is to replace them five years from now, they will not want to be better or more expensive than they are. If they were still going 100%, they might have saved a lot of money online.

“Astronomers design for a period of time in a specific orbit,” says Herasmenka. “No one wants to live for two weeks, and no one wants to live for 15 years. They usually go to the lower orbit and live there for only five to seven years. So we set this standard. After that, we don’t care if our customer doesn’t care. ”

Regger took a step back in this emerging market in Techstars 2019 2019 and then began talking to manufacturers and negotiating deals. They also won the NASA SBIR Level 1 Award and the NSF Level 2, totaling $ 1.1 million. With the help of prototypes and some proven financial support, they have raised $ 33 million in LOIs over the summer and more than $ 50 million has been damaged, Herasminka said.

As a matter of fact, the company should move quickly or risk the entry of others for lunch. “Everything can change in a few years, and when an industry knows it, the market opportunity is gone,” he said. Obviously, Regal Solar intends to seize that opportunity, but they now need a lot of investment to bring their pilots, and then the entire production line, faster. They are not ready to make details, but Herasmenka said they are collecting $ 5 million from the institutional justice sector and $ 900,000 from individuals, which should be closed before the end of the year.

By NASA and NSS. From the demand of established airlines and certification seals (via SBIR), the razor looks good to make the game. The hard part is designing the new panel or whether it really works? They want to know.

(Updated to correct minor financial management in an advanced article.)

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