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Flexible, Lightweight, Amorphous Silicon Based Solar Cells on Polymer Substrate for Space and Near-Space Applications

  • K. Beernink (a1), A. Banerjee (a1), J. Yang (a1), K. Lord (a1), F. Liu (a1), G. DeMaggio (a1), G. Pietka (a1), C. Worrel (a1) and S. Guha (a1)...

Abstract

United Solar Ovonic has leveraged its history of making amorphous silicon solar cells on stainless steel substrates to develop amorphous silicon alloy (a-Si:H)-based solar cells and modules on ∼25 μm thick polymer substrate using high-throughput roll-to-roll deposition technology for space and near-space applications. The solar cells have a triple-junction a-Si:H/a-SiGe:H/a-SiGe:H structure deposited by conventional plasma enhanced CVD (PECVD) using roll-to-roll processing. The cells have distinct advantages in terms of high specific power (W/kg), high flexibility, ruggedness, rollability for stowage, and irradiation resistance. The large area (23.9 cm x 32.1 cm) individual cells manufactured in large quantity can be readily connected into modules and have achieved initial, 25 °C, AM0 aperture-area efficiency of 9.8% and initial specific power of 1200 W/kg. We have conducted light-soak studies and measured the temperature coefficient of the current-voltage characteristics to determine the stable values at an expected operating temperature of 60 °C. The stable total-area efficiency and specific power at 60 °C are 7.2% and 950 W/kg, respectively. In this paper, we review the challenges and progress made in development of the cells, highlight some applications, and discuss current efforts aimed at improving performance.

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Keywords

Flexible, Lightweight, Amorphous Silicon Based Solar Cells on Polymer Substrate for Space and Near-Space Applications

  • K. Beernink (a1), A. Banerjee (a1), J. Yang (a1), K. Lord (a1), F. Liu (a1), G. DeMaggio (a1), G. Pietka (a1), C. Worrel (a1) and S. Guha (a1)...

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