Ascent Solar clinches major contract for high-altitude aerospace application

Victor Lee, CEO at Ascent Solar Technologies (photo: Ascent)

Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc., a developer and manufacturer of lightweight and flexible thin-film photovoltaic solutions headquartered in Thornton, Colorado, announced that it has secured a major contract from an Asian customer to supply its high-voltage, superlight thin-film module for an advanced aerospace application.

"Ascent Solar was asked to customise a fully encapsulated, large area thin-film module weighing no more than 420 g/m2, which could withstand extreme operating temperature ranges from +100 to -75°C," said Dr Joe Armstrong, founder and CTO of Ascent Solar. "Furthermore, the Ascent team designed the module to easily integrate into the customer's application. Meeting these specific requirements demonstrates our ability to continuously achieve new frontiers in the lightweight thin-film solar arena, and establish Ascent as the leader in high value-add PV markets."

After lengthy and vigorous testing and validation for over 2 years, the customer is now making commercial size orders. The total contract value is approximately $516K, and product will be delivered throughout the year.

"This is by far the single largest PV sales contract in the corporate history of Ascent Solar," said Victor Lee, CEO and president of Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. "While the contract is significant in value, it underscores the power of Ascent's technology to address these rapidly emerging and growing markets. We have noted previously that Ascent's thin-film technology produces modules with the highest power-to-weight ratio. For aerospace and space applications, this characteristic is incredibly important. Additionally, the flexibility to integrate the modules into different form factors and applications, makes our technology suitable for this growing market. This contract is only the 'tip of the iceberg' as the project, if successfully launched, is expected to be rolled out on a much larger scale in the near future."

"Since pivoting away from the traditional and highly commoditised on-grid and rooftop solar markets in 2012, Ascent has been focusing on developing high value-added commercial and consumer solar products, to ensure better margin protection," Lee continued. "The sales process and cycle in such specialty PV market can be tedious and lengthy, but the progress has been very encouraging."

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