Breakthrough Solar, with Stan Herasimenka (Solestial)


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.


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:

  • Market potential for solar technology
  • Reengineering long-established technology
  • Solestial’s business model and scaling plans
  • Future trends in space solar

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 — /

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