Solar insolation in space

littleharbor2littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 1,599 ✭✭✭✭
Was watching the NASA Channel last night and one segment they were talking about the solar panels they use to create electricity in  space. While they didn't mention it , it piqued my curiosity as to how much insolation they can get in the vacuum of space. In perfect and exceptional situations we can get 12-1300 watts per square meter, maybe more on earth. Anybody know what they get in space?

2.1 Kw Suntech 175 mono, Classic 200, Trace SW 4024 ( 15 years old  but brand new out of sealed factory box Jan. 2015), Bogart Tri-metric, 540 ah @24 volt AGM battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.

Comments

  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 3,817 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Interesting question, since altitude affects the isolation ir would be logical to assume outside the atmosphere it would be greater but also dependant on the distance from the sun itself. https://www.pveducation.org/pvcdrom/properties-of-sunlight/solar-radiation-in-space
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery with Battery Bodyguard BMS 
    Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery with Daly BMS, used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.  
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
  • HorseflyHorsefly Registered Users Posts: 401 ✭✭✭✭
    From NOAA (https://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/stp/solar/solarirrad.html) there is the following graph.  Looks to me like 1366 Watts per square meter is pretty average. Insolation and irradiance are - as far as I can tell - synonymous. Irradiance is used when discussing space.


    Off-grid cabin: 6 x Canadian Solar CSK-280M PV panels, Schneider XW-MPPT60-150 Charge Controller, Schneider CSW4024 Inverter/Charger, Schneider SCP, 4 x Vmax XTR12-155 12V, 155AH batteries in a 2x2 24V 310AH bank.
  • RCinFLARCinFLA Solar Expert Posts: 1,351 ✭✭✭
    About 20% more,  There is a lot more radiation in UV part of spectrum. 

    This high UV rad would accelerate the degradation of your normal earth bound PV panels, increasing their shunt leakage current.  Earth surface UV-A and UV-B radiation is a dominate reason for the 0.5% to 0.9% drop in PV panel output per year.

    I heard it was a limiting factor for space station staying time on the first SpaceX crewed Dragon mission as the PV cells on the trunk section were not super UV resistant and degraded relatively quickly over time.  The next crewed Dragon will have better (and more expensive) UV resistant PV cells.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,685 admin
    edited August 2020 #5
    Compared to solar noon on a cool/clear day which is around 1,000 Watts/sm.

    "Energy" in solar radiation is a bit more complex than just W/sm... We use 1,000 W/sm for how much energy a solar panel can harvest (at around ~15% average efficiency). Since solar panels really only use visible light, the long wave (heat) and shortwave (UV) radiation part of the energy spectrum is not useful. The atmosphere does a good job of stopping most of the shorter wave lengths (UVB and UVC).

    Nice chart of Edge of atmosphere vs a sea level:

    https://ecotality.com/can-solar-panels-work-with-artificial-light/

    solar radiation spectrum
    And solar panel conversion ranges:
    efficiency vs wavelengths of different solar panel technologies
    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,912 ✭✭✭✭✭
    More power and more power longer because they track it on the ISS.

    Spent a few years looking at the manuals.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,912 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The last I heard from last week was the americans are bunking in the russian section of the ISS. Trying to find a leak that was increasing in their section.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
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  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 1,599 ✭✭✭✭
    Cool, thanks for all your replies. I would have thought the numbers would've been higher. I must admit I didn't try to find this out online cuz I figured you guys are smarter than a lot of what might be out there in cyber land. You know, You Tube and all.

    2.1 Kw Suntech 175 mono, Classic 200, Trace SW 4024 ( 15 years old  but brand new out of sealed factory box Jan. 2015), Bogart Tri-metric, 540 ah @24 volt AGM battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,912 ✭✭✭✭✭
    If you are in the land of clear skies (offgrid without smoke) one of the great things in life is to watch the ISS go over you. Here is a link.
    https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 1,599 ✭✭✭✭
    If you are in the land of clear skies (offgrid without smoke) one of the great things in life is to watch the ISS go over you. Here is a link.
    https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/
    Thanks Dave. I am in Baja full time now. There's a guy within VHF radio range who always announces a couple hours before fly overs the time and direction of travel. I will save this link all the same.

    2.1 Kw Suntech 175 mono, Classic 200, Trace SW 4024 ( 15 years old  but brand new out of sealed factory box Jan. 2015), Bogart Tri-metric, 540 ah @24 volt AGM battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,912 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Ah the baja coconut telegraph is alive and well ! Ever listen to 80 meter Sonrisa net? There was an ISS astronaut on there last year.
    Save me a pacifico! Enjoy !
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 1,599 ✭✭✭✭
    Ah the baja coconut telegraph is alive and well ! Ever listen to 80 meter Sonrisa net? There was an ISS astronaut on there last year.
    Save me a pacifico! Enjoy !
    No 80 meter. Plenty of icy coldies though. If you ever get down this way give me heads up. 

    2.1 Kw Suntech 175 mono, Classic 200, Trace SW 4024 ( 15 years old  but brand new out of sealed factory box Jan. 2015), Bogart Tri-metric, 540 ah @24 volt AGM battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,912 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Definitely !  
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

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