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22 November 2018

A silicon space-based solar panel with a record mass efficiency developed in Russia

Hevel Group together with NPP TAIS developed a space-based solar panel with a high weight-specific efficiency. The coefficient of solar energy conversion in AM1.5 standard spectrum exceeds 22%, while the specific mass of the solar panel does not exceed 1.5 kg/m2. The solar system has successfully passed the tests in a vacuum and critical temperatures (from –160 to + 120 °С) without degradation of characteristics.

Unlike traditional solar cells based on triple-junction gallium arsenide solar cells, the new solar panel is 30% more efficient and its cost is significantly lower what enables wide application in commercial and scientific spacecraft.
Carbon fiber composite material is used for the load-carrying structure of the solar panel. It provides high rigidity of the solar module, good protection against meteorites and radiation. 

The solar panel is already being tested in a mock-up model of future spacecraft.
The solar panel will also undergo tests to prove resistance to ultraviolet light, ionizing radiation, oxygen plasma influence, its service life, and reliability parameters will be researched as well. At the next stage, the solar panel will run flight tests as part of one of the Russian spacecraft.