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Interpretation of high voltage solar array discharge experiments

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3 Author(s)
N. J. Stevens ; TRW Space & Technol. Group, Redondo Beach, CA, USA ; C. S. Underwood ; M. R. Jones

High-voltage operation of photovoltaic power sources in low earth orbit is limited by the probability of discharges in the array. Laboratory experiments were conducted to characterize these discharges. A model is proposed that suggests that experiments conducted to date have measured transients related to the discharging of the solar cell cover glass as a result of a discharge rather than the discharge itself. A system analysis approach is adopted to model the discharge transient. It is found that the experimental transients could be modeled as the decharging of the solar cell cover glass through the adhesive resistance. Ion current collection by the interconnects after the discharge could be modeled as an equivalent inductor. The predictions of this model are shown to be in excellent agreement with the data

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science  (Volume:37 ,  Issue: 6 )