I suppose a lighter frame of greater area could be built and carried in the shuttle, as 1/16 the mass would not need nearly so great a support structure. Come to think of it, why so overbuilt a support structure in the first place, if the panels caried are weightless. Another advantage of Unisolar panels is that hits by particles in space would be less likely to debilitate the whole system.
That is not the point of my question. The point of my question is, given a fixed area of wing span, as designed for the space station, how much more power would be produced by the Unisolar panel vs. those presently installed. 16 times the power/weight is one thing, but as the area to be encompassed is fixed, and the weight is not a factor in space, the more important factor to consider -- over and above the huge savings in transport -- is do our panels produce More Power/Area, all things being equal. If not, the advantage is cost of transport, if Yes, there is an even greater advantage. Either way we win, unless the output per area for Unisolar is Less, and then power need exceeds the importance of the cost of transport..
They are not. The next ones to go up may well be, however, due to considerations of weight/power. Their cheaper to lift odd, and produce more power per sqaue meter. I have to assume the battery strorage is NiMH, as no one has disputed this.