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solar panels on the international space station

Did you know that without the invention of solar photovoltaic technology, life as we know it today would not be possible? Even though solar panels are not common on our rooftops here on earth they’ve been very popular in space for a long time. How else do you think our satellites that drive our modern communication are able to generate power in space?

Today two astronauts from shuttle Discovery completed their first space walk out of three to add more solar panels to the array that powers the International Space Station (ISS) The goal of adding solar panels to the array is to power up to full power for the first time in 10 years. Once the new solar panels are installed it would boost the size of the solar array from 90 kW (kilo-watts) to 120 kW.

This is a great example of how solar electric systems are scalable, meaning you can always add to the system later. The additional power produced by the 120 kW solar array will enable scientists on the ISS to conduct more experiments thus increasing the capabilities of the space station.

Pretty interesting project, wouldn’t you agree?

Author: Deep Patel

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