Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Prof. (Emer.) Jeffrey Gordon and his US colleagues have designed a miniaturized solar-power prototype that could significantly reduce the costs for the rapidly-growing billion-dollar industry of private non-governmental space travel.
Realizing ultra-compact solar devices that can affordably enhance power is a key ingredient.
BGU’s prototype is comprised of a compact, low-mass, molded-glass solar concentrator bonded to a monolithic integration of transfer-printed micro-scale solar cells that can efficiently exploit most of the solar spectrum.
NASA has included a prototype in its first launch of 2020 to the International Space Station for testing under cosmic radiation and the enormous temperature swings in extraterrestrial operation.
The first-generation prototype is less than 1.7 mm thick, with solar cells that are only 0.65 mm on each side.
A second generation that can increase specific power is now being designed by the same team.
Israel has developed some of the world’s most advanced solar energy equipment to compensate for its meager natural resources and in search of cleaner sources of energy.
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