Simulation and Ground Test for the Solar Array Using GaInP/GaAs/Ge Cells for Space Verification
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In outer space, the electrical power needed to perform missions in most often provided by so-lar cells interconnected in series (cell-by-cell). Silicon solar cells had been used since 1957 as the primary source of electrical power in space. However, these early cells typically had very low con-version efficiency (about 10% or 12%). Therefore, many silicon solar cells were required for proper power generation in orbit. Recently, in order to produce more electrical power with fewer cells, GaInP/GaAs/Ge solar cells were selected for use after considering their conversion efficiency and space durability in space against such as radiation effects, cosmic rays and so on. The electrical circuits and interconnections are crucial for increasing the power conversion efficiency; however, the mechanical substrate is also an important consideration for space solar cell array design. If these devices are to be used for space applications, their functions must be verified on the ground. A standard coupon for solar cell array verification was designed and manufactured for space applications, and its performance was measured through a flash test. Finally, the results for a standard coupon using the GaInP/GaAs/Ge III-V compounds were compared with those from simulation. We found a difference within 3% in the fill factor. So as to fulfill the requirements for the solar cell arrays to be used in space, we propose a general purpose the standard solar cell array coupon for ground verification of readiness for space applications.
KeywordsSpace solar cell array Solar cell GaInP/GaAs/Ge Conversion efficiency Fill factor
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This research was supported by the program (2017M1 A3A3A03016516) of “Design and Analysis of Spacecraft Solar Array Panel for LEO Mission” funded by the Min-istry of Science and ICT (MSIT) of the Republic of Korea.
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