Solar-powered fabric provider Pvilion announces that it has been awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract by the U.S. Air Force (USAF) to continue its development of rapidly deployable, solar-powered structures. Through a competitive awards-based program, the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization.
The USAF’s Rapid Sustainment Office (RSO) and AFWERX have partnered to streamline the Small Business Innovation Research process in an attempt to speed up the experience, broaden the pool of potential applicants and decrease bureaucratic overhead. The RSO’s goal is to increase mission readiness by rapidly identifying, applying and scaling technology essential to the operation of, and sustaining, the U.S. Air Force.
In moments of crisis, the USAF needs to be able to deploy structures in forward areas to support personnel, equipment and operation centers. These structures need to be agile in that they must be easy to set up quickly, and they need to be independently powered. Additionally, the structures can provide climate control.
The USAF has favorably evaluated the products the company presented for cost, complexity, sustainability, required manual labor as well as for energy independence, all with the goal of maximizing mission-objective readiness.
According to the company, its solar technology is significantly lighter and more adaptable than traditional solar options. It is integrated entirely into a system already being installed, such as a tent, shade canopy or hangar. With fully integrated photovoltaic fabric panels, the company’s structures allow for multi-capability use by providing power, shelter, lighting and climate control.
Pvilion’s numerous commercial customers use its solar fabric technology in structures used for events such as music festivals, in temporary industrial worksites and in structures found in parks, municipalities, universities, and corporate campuses. Pvilion’s solar fabric products have been commercially available for eight years.