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Pseudomorphic Glass for Space Solar Cells

Details

Project TitlePseudomorphic Glass for Space Solar Cells
Track CodeP31442
Short Description

A flexible coverglass alternative for spacecraft solar panels that increase efficiency and UV transmittance when compared with conventional materials.

AbstractNone
 
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Posted DateMay 4, 2017 12:18 PM

Background

Traditional space solar arrays generally consist of solar cells bonded to rigid panel substrates and covered with ceria-doped borosilicate microsheets of glass. Although coverglass materials have worked satisfactorily for existing solar cell technologies, their cost, fragility, and lack of complete encapsulation (the metal cell to cell interconnects are not covered by the coverglass) have led many organizations to search for a simpler alternative.

Innovation

AFRL has developed a flexible coverglass alternative for spacecraft solar panels that increase efficiency and UV transmittance when compared with conventional materials. The coverglass is composed of small beads of either fused silica or ceria-doped borosilicate glass embedded in a matrix of conventional coverglass adhesives. These beads may also be used in a matrix of Kapton as the solar panel's substrate which may be combined with flexible solar cells to form flexible solar panels.

Advantages/ Applications

Advantages: 

  • Protective – demonstrated electron, proton and UV protection
  • High emittance – cells can operate ~5oC cooler, thus 0.5% (abs) more efficient
  • Full encapsulation – potential to mitigate ESD damage ($4B in spacecraft losses due to ESD in past 20 years)
  • Potential for ESD control with conductive adhesive additive
  • Higher UV transmittance for next gen PV technologies

Applications:

  • Flexible spacecraft solar arrays
  • Large area Optical Solar Reflectors (OSR) for spacecraft thermal control

Contact Information

Matt O’Brien, Tech Engagement Team

505-846-5028

matto@afrlnewmexico.com

Files

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Pseudomorphic Glass for Space Solar Cells None Download