AccuStrata recently received its sixth grant in an eighteen month period for its real-time process control system, TF Auto-Pilot. The company is developing the TF-Auto Pilot to discover manufacturing flaws in solar panels thereby permitting manufacturers to correct the panel and bring it back to its targeted specification. Ultimately, the company looks for this technology to be able to facilitate higher-power panels with fewer products rejects. The US$432,000 phase II small business innovation research (SBIR) grant was awarded to AccuStrata by the National Science Foundation.
“Solar cells manufactured with our system can produce 15-20 percent more power,” says AccuStrata President George Atanasoff. “With this funding, we are developing an improved prototype system and validating it for the two most widely used thin film solar panel manufacturing technologies.”
Previous grants awarded to AccuStrata include a US$70,000 phase I SBIR grant from the Environmental Protection Agency in March 2010, a US$35,000 phase II SBIR grant from the National Science Foundation in January 2010, a US$150,000 phase I Department of Energy SBIR grant in December 2009, a DOE Supply Chain grant in August 2009 for US$150,000 and a US$100,000 phase I SBIR grant from the National Science Foundation in June of 2009.
As AccuStrata is part of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) Technology Advance program, it has also received funding from the Maryland Technology Development Corporation through the Maryland Technology Transfer Fund.