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An Ultralight Concentrator Photovoltaic System for Space Solar Power Harvesting

Warmann, Emily C. and Espinet-Gonzalez, Pilar and Vaidya, Nina and Loke, Samuel and Naqavi, Ali and Vinogradova, Tatiana and Kelzenberg, Michael and Leclerc, Christophe and Gdoutos, Eleftherios and Pellegrino, Sergio and Atwater, Harry A. (2020) An Ultralight Concentrator Photovoltaic System for Space Solar Power Harvesting. Acta Astronautica, 170 . pp. 443-451. ISSN 0094-5765. doi:10.1016/j.actaastro.2019.12.032.

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We present a detailed design treatment for a concentrating photovoltaic mini module subsystem with a specific power of up to 4.1 kW/kg for integration into a space solar power system. Concentrating designs are required to achieve specific power over 1 kW/kg with current high-efficiency III-V multijunction solar cells. The 15 sun, linear concentration concept detailed here reduces the system mass by replacing cell and radiation shield area with ultralight carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) optics. Reducing the cell size to 1mm width as well as careful optimization of cell architecture and CFRP material and thickness are critical for maintaining cell temperatures under 100 C despite the concentration. We also describe ultralight multilayer optical coatings to increase the thermal emissivity of the concentrator surfaces and enhance radiative transfer for cell cooling, which is a critical technological component of the total system design.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Warmann, Emily C.0000-0002-2810-4608
Espinet-Gonzalez, Pilar0000-0002-7656-0077
Kelzenberg, Michael0000-0002-6249-2827
Pellegrino, Sergio0000-0001-9373-3278
Atwater, Harry A.0000-0001-9435-0201
Additional Information:© 2019 Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of IAA. Received 25 June 2019, Revised 18 December 2019, Accepted 24 December 2019, Available online 27 January 2020.
Group:GALCIT, Kavli Nanoscience Institute, Space Solar Power Project
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200128-142200161
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Emily C. Warmann, Pilar Espinet-Gonzalez, Nina Vaidya, Samuel Loke, Ali Naqavi, Tatiana Vinogradova, Michael Kelzenberg, Christophe Leclerc, Eleftherios Gdoutos, Sergio Pellegrino, Harry A. Atwater, An ultralight concentrator photovoltaic system for space solar power harvesting, Acta Astronautica, Volume 170, 2020, Pages 443-451, ISSN 0094-5765, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:100970
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:28 Jan 2020 23:01
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:58

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