Russia’s Bid for Solar Energy in Space

RUSNANO, theRussian nanotechnology investor, has approved a joint venture projectwith Research-Production Enterprise NPP KVANT that will focus onbuilding solar-energy batteries for spacecrafts.

The project will produce gallium arsenide-based solar batteries forsatellites and space stations, with battery efficiency increased from15 to 32% compared to silicon-based batteries. The new batteries aremade up of three-junction solar cells consisting of up to 30interleaving layers, each measuring 10-15 nm in thickness.

The batteries will be fully compliant with the requirements ofglobal spacecraft manufacturers for solar power systems. The energyconversion efficiency of these batteries in space environment isestimated at 30% with an operational life of 15 years, making themcompetitive with the best designs available in the global market. Theproduct’s high quality is complemented by a competitive price resultingfrom the lower production cost of solar photocells versus similarforeign imports.