skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Combined contamination and space environmental effects on solar cells and thermal control surfaces

Abstract

For spacecraft in low Earth orbit (LEO), contamination can occur from thruster fuel, sputter contamination products and from products of silicone degradation. This paper describes laboratory testing in which solar cell materials and thermal control surfaces were exposed to simulated spacecraft environmental effects including contamination, atomic oxygen, ultraviolet radiation and thermal cycling. The objective of these experiments was to determine how the interaction of the natural LEO environmental effects with contaminated spacecraft surfaces impacts the performance of these materials. Optical properties of samples were measured and solar cell performance data was obtained. In general, exposure to contamination by thruster fuel resulted in degradation of solar absorptance for fused silica and various thermal control surfaces and degradation of solar cell performance. Fused silica samples which were subsequently exposed to an atomic oxygen/vacuum ultraviolet radiation environment showed reversal of this degradation. These results imply that solar cells and thermal control surfaces which are susceptible to thruster fuel contamination and which also receive atomic oxygen exposure may not undergo significant performance degradation. Materials which were exposed to only vacuum ultraviolet radiation subsequent to contamination showed slight additional degradation in solar absorptance.

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Cleveland, OH (United States). Lewis Research Center
OSTI Identifier:
7169787
Report Number(s):
N-94-33022; NASA-TM--106592; E--8859; NAS--1.15:106592; AIAA-Paper--94-2627; CONF-9406188--
CNN: NAS3-27186; RTOP 474-46-10
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 18. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) aerospace ground test conference, Colorado Springs, CO (United States), 20-23 Jun 1994
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; SOLAR CELLS; OPTICAL PROPERTIES; PHYSICAL RADIATION EFFECTS; THERMAL CYCLING; CONTAMINATION; OXYGEN; ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION; DIRECT ENERGY CONVERTERS; ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION; ELEMENTS; EQUIPMENT; NONMETALS; PHOTOELECTRIC CELLS; PHOTOVOLTAIC CELLS; PHYSICAL PROPERTIES; RADIATION EFFECTS; RADIATIONS; SOLAR EQUIPMENT 140501* -- Solar Energy Conversion-- Photovoltaic Conversion; 360605 -- Materials-- Radiation Effects

Citation Formats

Dever, J.A., Bruckner, E.J., Scheiman, D.A., and Stidham, C.R. Combined contamination and space environmental effects on solar cells and thermal control surfaces. United States: N. p., 1994. Web.
Dever, J.A., Bruckner, E.J., Scheiman, D.A., & Stidham, C.R. Combined contamination and space environmental effects on solar cells and thermal control surfaces. United States.
Dever, J.A., Bruckner, E.J., Scheiman, D.A., and Stidham, C.R. 1994. "Combined contamination and space environmental effects on solar cells and thermal control surfaces". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_7169787,
title = {Combined contamination and space environmental effects on solar cells and thermal control surfaces},
author = {Dever, J.A. and Bruckner, E.J. and Scheiman, D.A. and Stidham, C.R.},
abstractNote = {For spacecraft in low Earth orbit (LEO), contamination can occur from thruster fuel, sputter contamination products and from products of silicone degradation. This paper describes laboratory testing in which solar cell materials and thermal control surfaces were exposed to simulated spacecraft environmental effects including contamination, atomic oxygen, ultraviolet radiation and thermal cycling. The objective of these experiments was to determine how the interaction of the natural LEO environmental effects with contaminated spacecraft surfaces impacts the performance of these materials. Optical properties of samples were measured and solar cell performance data was obtained. In general, exposure to contamination by thruster fuel resulted in degradation of solar absorptance for fused silica and various thermal control surfaces and degradation of solar cell performance. Fused silica samples which were subsequently exposed to an atomic oxygen/vacuum ultraviolet radiation environment showed reversal of this degradation. These results imply that solar cells and thermal control surfaces which are susceptible to thruster fuel contamination and which also receive atomic oxygen exposure may not undergo significant performance degradation. Materials which were exposed to only vacuum ultraviolet radiation subsequent to contamination showed slight additional degradation in solar absorptance.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 1994,
month = 5
}

Conference:
Other availability
Please see Document Availability for additional information on obtaining the full-text document. Library patrons may search WorldCat to identify libraries that hold this conference proceeding.

Save / Share:
  • The Wright Research and Development Center (WRDC) and the Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC) have initiated a program for measuring optical and radiative effects of satellite material outgassing products on thermal control and cryo-optic surfaces. A solar absorptance chamber for making reflectance/absorptance measurements on thermal control materials has been established. This report describes the operation of the solar absorptance chamber used to measure the degradation of reflective surfaces and solar cells caused by deposition of outgassing contaminants. The effects of solar irradiation (UV) were also studied, and results are presented. Data are presented for Dow Corning 93-500 Space-grade encapsulant (DC93-500),more » Furane Products Uralane 5753-A/B(LV) encapsulant, and Polyclad FR-4 Epoxy laminate. (js)« less
  • Cumulative space environmental effects on Ag/FEP were a function of exposure orientation. Samples from 19 silvered Teflon (Ag/FEP) thermal control surfaces recovered from the Long Duration Exposure Facility (IDEF) have been analyzed to determine changes in this material as a function of position on the spacecraft. Although solar absorptance and infrared emittance of measured thermal blanket specimens are relatively unchanged from control specimen values, significant changes in surface morphology, composition, and chemistry were observed. All Ag/FEP surfaces exposed to high atomic oxygen flux (rows 7-11), irrespective of exact angle, had a uniformly cloudy appearance due to surface erosion. Scanning electronmore » microscopy (SEM) showed a surface topography with sharp peaks and valleys, while x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) detected a surface composition corresponding to contamination-free FEP, with less than 1 mole % oxygen.« less
  • The present conference on Space Station environmental/thermal control and life-support systems encompasses design issues for systems pertinent to the Space Station Freedom, such as thermal technologies for microgravity environments ranging from insulation blankets to two-phase fluid-transport systems, heat exchangers, resource-allocation processes, and life-support technologies. Specific issues addressed include water recovery and management-test support modeling, a contaminant removal system, the testing of a CO2 removal assembly, the containment of solid human waste, an analysis of a passive thermal control system, the electrodeionization of water, and the survival and selectivity of bacteria in water systems. Also addressed are water-treatment systems for reagent-grademore » water, the development of a water-quality monitor, the fatigue testing of corrugated and Teflon hoses, a method for thermal modeling, and thermal-resource allocation for Space Station Freedom and future planetary missions.« less
  • A simplified design procedure is examined for estimating the storage capacity and collector area for annual-cycle-storage, community solar heating systems in which 100% of the annual space heating energy demand is provided from the solar source for the typical meteorological year. Hourly computer simulations of the performance of these systems were carried out for 10 cities in the United States for 3 different building types and 4 community sizes. These permitted the use of design values for evaluation of a more simplified system sizing method. Results of this study show a strong correlation between annual collector efficiency and two major,more » location-specific, annual weather parameters: the mean air temperature during daylignt hours and the total global insolation on the collector surface. Storage capacity correlates well with the net winter load, which is a measure of the seasonal variation in the total load, a correlation which appears to be independent of collector type.« less
  • A detailed, three-dimensional finite element model called Moisture Absorption and Desorption Analysis Method (MADAM) has been developed at the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) to evaluate the moisture absorption and desorption rates of building envelopes and internal furnishings. The model has been validated against measured laboratory and field data. Moisture absorption and desorption correlations obtained through MADAM are then incorporated as a subprogram of Thermal Analysis Research Program (TARP). Mechanical system performance and building zone conditions are then evaluated on an hourly basis. MADAM/TARP analysis of residential cooling loads in humid climates shows that moisture absorption and desorption can havemore » significant effects on air-conditioning loads and on indoor relative humidities. These effects are more pronounced when energy conservation strategies such as ventilation are used.« less