Fraunhofer ISE and Azur Space Extend Cooperation on Developing Space-Based III-V Solar Cells
News - Staff reports
Author: CompoundSemi News Staff
November 28, 2011... Two German solar companies which have worked together for more than 15 years, Azur Space Solar Power GmbH and Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE have signed a new cooperative agreement to develop multi-junction solar cells for the next 20 years Fraunhofer ISE says it will work exclusively with Azur Space on new generations of solar cells for space applications.
Fraunhofer notes that unlike silicon-based cells, the more efficient III-V multi-junction solar cells can be optimized to match specific wavelength ranges in the solar spectrum by precisely adjusting the atomic compositions. A multi-junction solar cell is composed of several III-V-based solar cells monolithically stacked together. Each of these layer absorbs a different part of the solar spectrum.
The companies are targeting the development of III-V solar cells that generate more electricity per cell area, weigh less and are more robust to better withstand the highly charged particles encountered in orbit. In conjunction with this goal the companies will develop manufacturing processes for these multi-junction solar cells. The work is supported by the European Space Agency (ESA-ESTEC), the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
“It is the long-standing successful cooperation with Fraunhofer ISE that has made Azur Space a worldwide leader in manufacturing III-V solar cells,” stated Azur Space’s CEO Dr Klaus-Dieter Rasch.
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