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Some of the newer flexible panels are quite "neat" but if you check
in detail, their efficiencies are only like 5% as compared to the
"normal" 15% or "high efficiency" 28% units.

However, if durability and price are issues many times more of these 
inefficient cells can be cheaper than less of the more efficient ones.

In space, however, extra mass is expensive, so all of this has to be
traded off.

The newer polymorphic type cells are very flexible, but less efficient, and 
most have shorter lives (Example:  5 yrs vs 10 yrs).  I'd assume the 
"paintable on" kind has these characteristics.  But another thought I had is 
to use a  polymer type "inefficient cell" in a tight roll that could be 
rolled out like a window shade.  Sort of like having a 50' streamer of cells 
trailing behind a sat.  Whether or not from a mass/cost perspective it would 
work out?  I'm not enough of an expert to know..

For an example of this type of cell, take a look at 

Fred W0FMS

>From: "Gene Harlan" <atvq@hampubs.com>
>To: "John Franke" <j.m.franke@larc.nasa.gov>,   "Scott Elliott" 
><scott@pieh0.co.uk>, <amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org>
>Subject: RE: [amsat-bb] Re: AMSAT O-E
>Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 17:11:21 -0500
>I read an announcement just a couple of days ago about a new solar panel
>that can be "painted on". Wish I would have kept the article now. Don't ask
>me details since I deleted the email.
>Gene Harlan - WB9MMM
>Harlan Technologies - publishers of:
>Amateur Television Quarterly
>OSCAR Satellite Report
>-----Original Message-----
>From: owner-AMSAT-BB@AMSAT.Org [mailto:owner-AMSAT-BB@AMSAT.Org]On
>Behalf Of John Franke
>Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2002 10:54 AM
>To: Scott Elliott; amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org
>Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] Re: AMSAT O-E
>Yes, the Hubble telescope has flexible solar panels.  They were
>transported all rolled up.  The ISS has solar panels that were folded
>accordion style for transport.
>There are differences between space and terrestrial solar panels
>because of the different environments.  Space panels do not have to
>worry about water or water vapor and they do not have to worry about
>wind load.  Terrestrial panels are not as affected by UV or the
>particles from the solar wind, micro meteorites, or extreme
>variations in temperature.  And there is a difference in the
>available spectrum.
>John  WA4WDL
> >silly question :).
> >
> >is there such thing as a flexible solar panel.
> >
> >also, is there any difference in space and earth solar panels. ie, is 
> >such a thing as a space solar panel :).
> >
> >
> >Speak to you later.
> >Scott Elliott
> >Scott@pieh0.co.uk
> >2E1FJB / M1SJE

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