The ECAPS project (Experimental Characterization of Advanced Photovoltaics in the Stratosphere) aims at the characterization of performance of a number of different solar cells in the stratospheric environment. ECAPS has been selected to fly as a zero-pressure balloon payload in the frame of the HEMERA H2020 project. Flight is scheduled for August 2022 from CNES’ base in Timmins, Canada. Testing solar cells in the stratosphere is of great interest for the development of High-Altitude Pseudo Satellite (HAPS) platforms, which will be equipped with high efficiency, flexible solar cells capable to operate at 20-30 km altitude for weeks or months, as well as to perform high-quality calibration of spacecraft solar cells in a near-air mass zero environment. The experiment includes a panel with up to 4 solar cells of different kinds (multi-junction GaAs, CIGS, perovskite, etc.), a dedicated I/V curve recording circuit, temperature and irradiance sensors, and an inertial measurement unit to monitor the instantaneous attitude of the gondola. During the ascent part of the flight, the I/V characteristic curves of the cells will be continuously recorded so to allow for comparison of performance of the different photovoltaic technologies in identical, real stratospheric flight conditions, as well as to detect performance changes with external temperature, irradiance and altitude. Upon recovery of the experiment, post-flight inspection will also yield useful information on the solar cell compatibility with the high altitude environment.

The ECAPS Experiment for Solar Cell Characterization in the Stratosphere

S. Marcuccio
Primo
;
M. Gemignani
Secondo
;
G. Cataldi;S. Gregucci
Penultimo
;
2021

Abstract

The ECAPS project (Experimental Characterization of Advanced Photovoltaics in the Stratosphere) aims at the characterization of performance of a number of different solar cells in the stratospheric environment. ECAPS has been selected to fly as a zero-pressure balloon payload in the frame of the HEMERA H2020 project. Flight is scheduled for August 2022 from CNES’ base in Timmins, Canada. Testing solar cells in the stratosphere is of great interest for the development of High-Altitude Pseudo Satellite (HAPS) platforms, which will be equipped with high efficiency, flexible solar cells capable to operate at 20-30 km altitude for weeks or months, as well as to perform high-quality calibration of spacecraft solar cells in a near-air mass zero environment. The experiment includes a panel with up to 4 solar cells of different kinds (multi-junction GaAs, CIGS, perovskite, etc.), a dedicated I/V curve recording circuit, temperature and irradiance sensors, and an inertial measurement unit to monitor the instantaneous attitude of the gondola. During the ascent part of the flight, the I/V characteristic curves of the cells will be continuously recorded so to allow for comparison of performance of the different photovoltaic technologies in identical, real stratospheric flight conditions, as well as to detect performance changes with external temperature, irradiance and altitude. Upon recovery of the experiment, post-flight inspection will also yield useful information on the solar cell compatibility with the high altitude environment.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/1105734
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