0
RESEARCH PAPERS

Status of Photovoltaic Power Technology

[+] Author and Article Information
Arvin Smith

Solar and Chemical Power Systems, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D. C.

J. Eng. Power 91(1), 1-12 (Jan 01, 1969) (12 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3574668 History: Received August 12, 1968; Online August 25, 2011

Abstract

The status of photovoltaic power technology is reviewed primarily from the viewpoint of current and future applications of the technology to the exploration and utilization of space. The photovoltaic solar cell has been the electric power workhorse throughout the first decade of the space age. The technology has shown steady improvement in reliability, increased efficiency, reduced cost, increased power per unit of hardware weight and ability to withstand extremes of the space environment. New developments are underway to increase solar cell and array size, to reduce stowage volume during boosting into orbit and to improve resistance to space radiation and thermal cycling. Silicon cell electrical contacts and interconnections, low energy proton damage to small exposed cell areas and instability of CdS thin film solar cells are examples of problems receiving attention at this time. The ongoing development of large, 2500–3000 ft2 , solar cell arrays to power the planned Apollo Applications Telescope/Workshop Cluster demonstrates the growing confidence in the ability of photovoltaic power to handle space missions of the future. As photovoltaic technology advances and economic conditions change, the solar cell may well find large scale terrestrial markets.

Copyright © 1969 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.

References

Figures

Tables

Errata

Discussions

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In