Australian printed solar cells to be tested in space-Xinhua

Australian printed solar cells to be tested in space

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-03-05 10:36:45

CANBERRA, March 5 (Xinhua) -- Printed solar cell technology developed by Australia's national science agency the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) was launched into space on Tuesday to test its reliability as an energy source for future space missions.

The solar cells were launched on SpaceX's Transporter-10 mission aboard Optimus-1, Australia's largest-ever private satellite, from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

Kimberly Clayfield, director of the CSIRO's space program, said the agency is exploring the potential of using the cells as a low-mass, high-efficiency power system for future space endeavors.

"CSIRO's printed flexible solar cells could provide a reliable, lightweight energy solution for future space operations and exploration," she said in a media release.

"If the space flight test reveals similar performance as we've shown in the lab, this technology offers significant advantages over traditional silicon-based solar."

Eight mini-modules of the solar cells were attached to the surface of Optimus-1, which was built by Australia's Space Machines Company.

The performance of the cells has been enhanced with perovskite, a mineral that is highly efficient at converting sunlight into energy.

CSIRO Renewable Energy Systems Group leader Anthony Chesman said that based on pioneering research on the likely performance of the cells in space, the team expects they will not be compromised by radiation and outperform traditional cells in cases where sunlight hits them at non-optimal angles.