Three-dimensional solar panels will be tested in space

Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have developed a three-dimensional solar panels, which in a few days will go into space on a rocket SpaceX. Solar panels will be tested on the International Space Station, to determine how well they work and how to react to cosmic conditions.

These solar panels have been designed to capture the sun’s rays at any angle of incidence, which would help the spacecraft to obtain more power from a limited surface area.

Experimental Module, go to the space, includes four different types of solar panels. One of them is “traditional earthly” solar battery, and the second is a planar cell based on the development of compounds inexpensive materials: copper-zinc-tin-sulfide cell (CZTS).

There are also two other types of three-dimensional solar cell, “one based on CZTS”, and others “on the basis of conventional cadmium telluride.” A total of 18 solar panels for six months will be tested in space.

“Photovoltaic arrays CZTS were made using readily available elements copper, zinc, tin and sulfur, to replace the more rare of CIGS - indium, gallium and selenium - are used in a similar thin-film solar cells,” said Redi Jude (Jud Ready), Chief Engineer researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology and professor in the school of Materials Science and engineering of Georgia.

“CZTS method provides an effective photo-absorption using materials which are available in abundance and cost approximately a thousand times less than the rare earth elements such as indium, gallium and selenium.”

Three-dimensional solar panels can permanently change the way the software spacecraft power. Solar Georgia Institute of Technology look like a miniature “tower, covered with a photo-absorber that allows you to capture sunlight from all sides.”

27 July 2016

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