Monolithic and Mechanical Multijunction Space Solar Cells

[+] Author and Article Information
R. K. Jain, D. J. Flood

NASA Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, OH 44135

J. Sol. Energy Eng 115(2), 106-111 (May 01, 1993) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2930027 History: Received September 01, 1992; Revised January 25, 1993; Online June 06, 2008


High-efficiency, lightweight, radiation-resistant solar cells are essential to meet the large power requirements of future space missions. Single-junction cells are limited in efficiency. Higher cell efficiencies could be realized by developing multijunction, multibandgap solar cells. Monolithic and mechanically stacked tandem solar cells surpassing single-junction cell efficiencies have been fabricated. This article surveys the current status of monolithic and mechanically stacked multibandgap space solar cells, and outlines problems yet to be resolved. The monolithic and mechanically stacked cells each have their own problems related to size, processing, current and voltage matching, weight, and other factors. More information is needed on the effect of temperature and radiation on the cell performance. Proper reference cells and full-spectrum range simulators are also needed to measure efficiencies correctly. Cost issues are not addressed, since two approaches are still in the developmental stage.

Copyright © 1993 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Topics: Solar cells
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