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  • rpbossman rpbossman Dec 4, 2000 9:05 AM Flag

    CAN SOMEONE tell me if the solar panels

    being used on the new space station are ECD's?
    My understanding is that they are.

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    • Are probably already three or four patents old.

    • 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.

      • 1 Reply to iq1000i_bosflash
      • >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.

        It
        was Ray (I think)that covered this in some detail in
        an earlier post, noting that the contract for the
        International Space Station's solar panels were let something
        like 5 years ago.

        It is inherently risky to
        accept the methodology of posting a rank supposition and
        then assuming that the supposition is correct just
        because it's not disputed.

        JR