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Development of a Thin-Film Solar Cell Interconnect for the Powersphere ConceptDual junction amorphous silicon (a-Si) solar cells produced on polyimide substrate have been selected as the best candidate to produce a lightweight solar array for the PowerSphere program. The PowerSphere concept features a space-inflatable, geodetic solar array approximately 0.6 meters in diameter and capable of generating about 20W of electrical power. Trade studies of various wiring concepts and connection methods led to an interconnect design with a copper contact that wraps around the edge, to the back of the solar cell. Applying Plasma Vapor Deposited (PVD) copper film to both sides and the edge of the solar cell produces the wrap around contact. This procedure results in a contact pad on the back of the solar cell, which is then laser welded to a flex circuit material. The flex circuit is constructed of copper in a custom designed routing pattern, and then sandwiched in a Kapton insulation layer. The flex circuit then serves as the primary power distribution system between the solar cells and the spacecraft. Flex circuit material is the best candidate for the wiring harness because it allows for low force deployment of the solar cells by the inflatable hinges on the PowerSphere. An additional frame structure, fabricated and assembled by ILC Dover, will reinforce the wrap around contact-flex blanket connection, thus providing a mechanically robust solar cell interconnect for the PowerSphere multifunctional program. The PowerSphere team will use the wraparound contact design approach as the primary solution for solar cell integration and the flex blanket for power distribution.
Document ID
20050206394
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Simburger, Edward J. (Aerospace Corp. El Segundo, CA, United States)
Matsumoto, James H. (Aerospace Corp. El Segundo, CA, United States)
Giants, Thomas W. (Aerospace Corp. El Segundo, CA, United States)
Garcia, Alexander, III (Aerospace Corp. El Segundo, CA, United States)
Liu, Simon (Aerospace Corp. El Segundo, CA, United States)
Rawal, Suraj P. (Lockheed Martin Corp. Denver, CO, United States)
Perry, Alan R. (Lockheed Martin Corp. Denver, CO, United States)
Marshall, Craig (Lockheed Martin Corp. Denver, CO, United States)
Lin, John K. (ILC Dover Dover, DE, United States)
Scarborough, Stephen E. (ILC Dover Dover, DE, United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 2005
Publication Information
Publication: 18th Space Photovoltaic Research and Technology Conference
Subject Category
Solid-State Physics
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NAS3-01115
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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