Breakthrough Solar, with Stan Herasimenka (Solestial)

Episode Summary

This week's episode features a CEO who thinks that he can build space-grade solar cells for 10x cheaper, 20% more efficient, and extend operational life to over 50 years. This is Solestial, an Arizona-based startup that believes it can achieve all this with its novel silicon cell technology.

Episode Notes

Did you ever think that solar power generation in space could be 10x cheaper, 20% more efficient, and extend operational life to over 50 years? Well, that’s what the Arizona-based startup Solestial believes it can achieve with its silicon cell technology. We bring in CEO and cofounder Stan Herasimenka for his first-ever podcast to discuss the unique challenges and differences between terrestrial and space solar cells, and the technological advancements his company is making to produce radiation-hardened, thin, and flexible solar cells for space use.

Stan and Mo also cover:

And much more…

• Chapters •

00:00 - Intro

00:36 - What are you building?

00:59 - What prompted Stan to start Solestial?

01:57 - Terrestrial vs extraterrestrial solar cells

05:10 - How long would a terrestrial solar cell last in space?

08:27 - Who are the main players?

11:02 - What is III-V?

12:25 - Supply/demand gap

16:03 - Core product offering

18:26 - What is the reason not to have a turnkey solution?

19:53 - Cost of activeness vs COTS

23:40 - Target cost of cells

24:30 - Why would a customer pay more for a premium solar cell?

27:37 - Self-curing radiation damage

30:52 - Perovskite cells

33:20 - Manufacturing and scaling

36:18 - Where is Solestial based?

37:01 - Customer traction

38:39 - Team makeup

40:18 - Financing plans?

41:51 - When will Solestial have their first array in space?

43:13 - What does Stan do when he's not talking about solar cells?

44:09 - Other companies Stan is excited about


• Show notes •

Solestial’s website —

Stan’s socials —

Mo's socials —

Payload’s socials — /

Pathfinder archive — Watch: Pathfinder archive — Listen:


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