Solar Cell Characterisation and Modelling Tools

Alan Richard Carrington


Spacecraft operating in the inner solar system usually rely on the use of photovoltaic solar panels to derive electricity from sunlight as their primary source of power (Doody, 2013). Precise and thorough characterisation of these solar panels and the photovoltaic cells they consist of, is necessary to facilitate accurate simulation of their behaviour pre-spacecraft deployment. This project will look at the design and implementation of a comprehensive modelling tool that simulates Earth orbiting satellites and outputs projected power yields from solar panels under a variety of input parameters. Physical characterisation of silicon and quantum well cells was undertaken, followed by a comparison of the two. The final tool developed was able to produce data with moderate accuracy and will be of use to future students and academics.


Solar Cells; Satellites;

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