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Ultra-thin solar cells self-repair damage from radiation in space – pv magazine International


Arizona-based Solestial’s photo voltaic cells have demonstrated excessive ranges of sturdiness in area, in response to third-party testing.

From pv journal USA

The French Various Energies and Atomic Power Fee (CEA) has confirmed that Solestial’s photo voltaic cells are able to repairing radiation-related injury. Its assessments confirmed that silicon cells successfully neutralize radiation injury underneath daylight at 194 F (90 C). Annealing is the method of gradual cooling to take away the inner stress of a cloth.

The open-circuit voltage of Solestial’s silicon photo voltaic cells dropped by solely 4% and retained 96% of their preliminary worth after publicity to radiation equal to 10 years in low Earth orbit and annealing at 194 F underneath a Solar illumination equal. The corporate says that the 20-micron thick cells present greater than 20% effectivity.

The corporate says the assessments present the potential of self-healing photo voltaic cells with considerably lowered radiation injury. That is particularly necessary for space-based photo voltaic cells, that are buffeted by excessive ranges of radiation and should function over lengthy life cycles.

“Radiation injury annealing of silicon is simple at excessive temperatures, for instance, above 200 C to 250 C, however this isn’t helpful for area purposes as a result of these temperatures are not often, if ever, skilled in situ,” mentioned Romain Cariou, an knowledgeable on photo voltaic silicon purposes in area for CEA. “The distinction right here is that Solestial’s cells can heal radiation injury at regular working temperatures for photo voltaic panels in area.”

Cariou mentioned this response to irradiation can’t be discovered with present industrial cell applied sciences. Throughout a 10-year mission, generally used III-V multijunction photo voltaic panels lose 10% to fifteen% of their youth effectivity as a result of radiation injury alone. For standard terrestrial silicon photo voltaic panels, the injury is bigger than 35% to 40%. Neither III-V nor terrestrial silicon has proven unbiased laboratory validation of such vital low-temperature annealing, Solestial mentioned.

“We sit up for additional CEA testing within the coming months to validate the inner annealing outcomes at decrease temperatures,” mentioned Stanislau Herasimenka, chief govt officer of Solestial. “We’re excited to exhibit to the area business the various advantages of Solestial’s ultrathin silicon photo voltaic cells and blankets.”

The corporate says one other benefit of its expertise is that it’s primarily based on silicon, whereas many different photo voltaic panels made out of area are normally made out of rarer or dearer supplies reminiscent of gallium arsenide. The Arizona-based firm has been creating its expertise for greater than a decade, starting its life at Arizona State College. It went by way of a $10 million seed funding spherical in October 2022.

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