Space solar arrays need more and more efficient and reliable solar cells. Since 2000 the devices based on GaAs compounds have overcome silicon solar cells in the space sector thanks to the higher performances and resistance against the harsh space environment. One of the ESA priority is the independence in the critical technologies of the field sector. Space solar cells are absolutely one of the critical technologies therefore, for the Europe is mandatory to continue R&D to have top level products.
What we have done
In the frame of high efficiency solar cells, CESI worked on the subject of high band gap materials for the development of super triple junction solar cells with efficiency higher than 30%. Meanwhile, the thickness of the device was reduced to decrease the consumption of precious semiconductor material and the weight of the solar cells.
ESA, through the collaboration with CESI, has the possibility to keep two solar cells suppliers in Europe.