Form 9.B Project Summary

Chron: 971646

Proposal Number: 19.02-1141

Project Title: Flexible Thin-Film CIGS High-Voltage Array for Space Applications

Technical Abstract (Limit 200 words)

Spacecraft power is critical to any mission and is dictated by spacecraft power requirements and power losses. Minimizing power losses reduces the size and weight of the power system. Reducing current and increasing array voltage results in reduction of both power loss and electromagnetic drag/torques on the vehicle. Also, weight of ion propulsion power conditioning equipment can be reduced by high-voltage arrays. However, interaction between solar arrays and surrounding plasma in orbit can cause arcing on the solar arrays. Generally arcing occurs at sharp edges and exposed contacts, which are inherent with conventional crystalline solar array construction (solar cells, protection diodes, solder, thick coverglass). Our large-area, flexible thin-film copper-indium-gallium-dieseling (CIGS) photovoltaic technology (Fig. 1) provides high voltage arrays with less than 10µm profile changes through monolithic ntegration. CIGS does not need conventional coverglass; only an emittance-nhancing coating on the entire array surface after integration should suffice for thermal management and a dielectric barrier. Global Solar Energy’s proposed effort, "Flexible Thin-Film CIGS High Voltage Arrays for Space Applications" in esponse to NASA SBIR Crosscutting Technologies 19.02 is to evaluate the equired material for use in high-voltage arrays and to assess the design of said thin-film CIGS arrays for future spacecraft.

Potential Commercial Applications (Limit 200 words)

High-voltage photovoltaic solar arrays will have significant impact on both terrestrial and space applications within the consumer, commercial, and government marketplace. High voltages eliminate the need for heavy cabling which is a cost deterrent to cost-conscious PV applications, regardless of space or terrestrial applications. For space applications investigating ion propulsion, a high-voltage array is a natural in that the weight and cost of the power conditioning can be reduced, as well as reliability being improved. Such applications include communication infrastructure spacecraft (Teledesic), orbit lifting vehicles, and deep-space missions. In terrestrial applications, utilities would prefer a high voltage array to reduce cabling cost, as well as to provide much easier DC-AC inversion and direct-to-grid applications. Many of the topics to be investigated within this program can be applied to safety-related issues for both space and terrestrial arrays, such as high-voltage isolation and fire safety. Furthermore, the flexible covercoat proposed to electrically isolate and thermally control array performance in space can replace costly Teflon™-based coatings for portable power applications.

Name and Address of Principal Investigator (Name,

Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)

Dr. Joseph H. Armstrong

Global Solar Energy, LLC

12401 West 49th Avenue

Wheat Ridge , CO 80033

Name and Address of Offeror (Firm Name, Mail Address,


Dr. Mohan S. Misra

Global Solar Energy, LLC

12401 West 49th Avenue

Wheat Ridge , CO 80033