What If the Sahara Desert Was Covered With Solar Panels?
Organic solar cells have been created that are good at resisting powerful radiation radiation, so they can effectively work in open space for more than 10 years..
Orbiting satellites are powered by solar panels that generate electricity to power their systems. Most often, these are silicon panels, which, due to their large mass, have low energy performance.. They are also fragile and quickly degrade when exposed to ionizing and gamma radiation. Therefore, recently, researchers have studied lightweight, flexible and more efficient organic solar cells..
Recently, a group of scientists from Skoltech, Russian Academy of Sciences and Moscow State University have developed stable solar cells based on carbazole-containing conjugated polymers, which not only have high performance indicators, but also retain their performance after strong radiation exposure..
In their work, they studied the behavior of two model fullerene-polymer systems under the influence of gamma rays. During the tests, one of them continued to operate at 80% of its original level of efficiency, even after irradiation of 6500 Gray. In order to receive such a dose of radiation, the satellite needs to spend more than 10 years in space..
Scientists point out that this is one from their first results and in the future, they plan to create even more stable and efficient photoconverters. They also consider organic systems are a promising option for development «solar sails», which can significantly increase the power of spacecraft.
Recall that the recent breakthrough in cryogenic rocket engine technology will extend the flight from a few hours to 30 days..
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: artemjew