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The Secret of Solar “Wings” on Shenzhou-11

Author: source: Datetime: 2017-11-09 11:53:09

china shenzhou11 spacecraft     

      Spacecraft flies to the sky, solar power panels, turned into a pair of small wings, boosts  the spacecraft to travel in the sky - which many people are very familiar with the screen. This time, there are four pairs of small "wings" escort the Shenzhou-11 fly to the distant Temple. This four pairs of small "wings" is not simple, the reporter with everyone on the small "wings" curiosity, made an exclusive interview with zhou Chunlin, who is the solar panel R & D experts, deputy chief engineer of China Electronics Technology Group Corporation. Zhou Chunlin said: "the solar panels provided to The Shenzhou-11 are all independent research and development, independent production, all with independent intellectual property rights, and  we expected to expand the materials and technology to civilian areas.


Reporter: How much pieces of solar power panels? What is the material?

Zhou Chunlin: All the energy need during the Shenzhou-11 flight is provided by the solar panels, the total solar panels installed on Shenzhou-11 is 8 piece.  each solar panel is 3 square meters, totally 24 square meters. The solar cells is made of high efficiency gallium arsenide cells.


Reporter: What is the gallium arsenide material? How to make and its conversion efficiency rate?

Zhou Chunlin: gallium arsenide solar panels adopt a "germanium" substrate, At first, cut germanium single crystal into germanium films, based on the films to do the epitaxy, and finally made of high efficiency three junction gallium arsenide cells. Gallium arsenide cell is the main features of high efficiency, light weight, small size, anti-radiation ability. In the conversion efficiency, we use the 27.5% conversion efficiency cell on  the Shenzhou-11, but we now have produced the gallium arsende as high efficiency as 30%.

solar power panel sonshenzhou11-17042


Reporter: But the Spacecraft and Tiangong-2 is around the earth, when the spacecraft flies to the back of the earth, how to do when the small "wings" receive less sunlight.

Zhou Chunlin: Indeed, the spacecraft is flying around the Earth, so there will be back to the sun. So we also prepare for the energy storage battery for the spacecraft. When receiving sunlight, solar power panels provide power to the spacecraft, as well as charge solar power batteries. When the spacecraft back to the sun, the energy storage battery provide the power to the spacecraft.



Reporter: So amazing! So the gallium arsenide battery cell can be used on the ground?

Zhou Chunlin: Most of solar power panel is used silicon solar cells on ground, while in the space, we mainly  use gallium arsenide solar cells, but now we have begun to use gallium arsenide cells on the ground. As the gallium arsenide solar cell cost is high, in order to reduce costs, we have adopted a "condenser" methos, that is to install a condenser on solar cell, making 500 times or even 1000 times sunlight directly exposed to solar cell. So it is our effort to make the gallium arsenide solar cells used on civilian areas to save the costs.


Tag: China Shenzhou-11 Spacecraft      Solar Power Panels      Solar Power Batteries 

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