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Yielding More Photons In Deep Space
Keller - Oct 21, 2002
A solar energy technology team led by ENTECH, Inc., has been awarded a $195,000 contract from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop advanced concepts for generating electrical power in space.

The team will also develop a roadmap for completing the development of these unique concepts, which are known as solar concentrator arrays. The solar concentrator array concepts use flexible, ultra-light lenses to focus sunlight onto high-efficiency solar cells, achieving unprecedented performance.

NASA has already tested a prototype ENTECH solar array with a record 27% efficiency converting space sunlight to electricity. This efficiency is more than double the efficiency of the solar arrays on the International Space Station. The new concepts to be explored under the NSF contract will be significantly more efficient than this early prototype array.

The ENTECH contract resulted from a highly competitive procurement, sponsored jointly by NSF, NASA, and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), to investigate advanced technologies for future space solar power applications. A total of 93 proposals were submitted to NSF/NASA/EPRI in several technology areas, but only 12 proposals (1 of every 8) were selected for funding.

The ENTECH-led team will include NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio, who will provide technical advice and guidance to ENTECH, and Assumption School, also of Cleveland, who will provide educational outreach activities. The contract will be completed in 12 months.

ENTECH, Inc., is a privately held company, incorporated in 1983. ENTECH has developed a number of unique, patented, high-performance products, all related to the efficient conversion and utilization of solar energy.

ENTECH products include solar electric generation equipment for ground-based power plants, solar power arrays for spacecraft, and collimating tubular skylights for buildings.

In the space technology area, ENTECH made the 720 lenses used on the award-winning solar array on NASA's Deep Space One spacecraft, launched in October 1998. With the solar arrays performing flawlessly, Deep Space One visited the Asteroid Braille in July 1999, and the Comet Borrelly in September 2001.

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Fly Me To The Moon For Clean, Reliable Electricity
Houston - Oct 09, 2002
The key to a prosperous world is clean, safe, low-cost electrical energy, according to University of Houston physicist David Criswell. And his idea for how to get it is literally out of this world. For more than 20 years, Criswell has been formulating the plans and the justification for building bases on the moon to collect solar energy and beam it through space for use by electricity-hungry Earthlings.

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