31 May 2013 Rollable, efficient, low concentration PV for powering small satellites via diffractive modulation
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Abstract
We present a novel LP-CPV (Low Power Concentrating Photo-Voltaics) technology well suited for Low Earth Orbit small satellites. The LP-CPV consists of three layers: the first two layers are optical redirection layers which implement non-tracking concentrating functionality and the third one is a support layer for single crystal silicon lamellar strips covering 10% of the overall area. The optical layers are diffractive transparent plastic layers embossed with micro-structures via roll-to-roll embossing. Instead of using spectral dispersion, we use diffraction efficiency modulation to reduce the amount of IR light concentrated on the crystal silicon strips, therefore allowing maximum conversion efficiency even at 10X concentration over silicon. All three layers (concentrating optics and lamellar silicon PV strips) comprise, when deployed, a uniaxial PV system periodic in the other (non-axis) principal in-plane direction. The layers can be rolled together in one compact cylindrical roll to minimize the payload volume. The entire LP-CPV system can then be deployed/unrolled in space and held in place, but can also be rolled back in order to prevent damage from solar flares, micro-meteorites, etc.
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Shahar Ben-Menahem, Bernard Kress, Vincent Brac-de-la-Pierriere, Abraham K. Ishihara, "Rollable, efficient, low concentration PV for powering small satellites via diffractive modulation", Proc. SPIE 8720, Photonic Applications for Aerospace, Commercial, and Harsh Environments IV, 87200Z (31 May 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2030325; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2030325
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