Integrated Solar Concentrator and Shielded Radiator
Wednesday, May 26 2010
A shielded radiator is integrated within a solar concentrator for applications that require protection from high ambient temperatures with little convective heat transfer. This innovation uses a reflective surface to deflect ambient thermal radiation, shielding the radiator. The interior of the shield is also reflective to provide a view factor to deep space. A key feature of the shield is the parabolic shape that focuses incoming solar radiation to a line above the radiator along the length of the trough. This keeps the solar energy from adding to the radiator load. By placing solar cells along this focal line, the concentration of solar energy reduces the number and mass of required cells.
By shielding the radiator, the effective reject temperature is much lower, allowing lower radiator temperatures. This is particularly important for lower-temperature processes, like habitat heat rejection and fuel cell operations where a high radiator temperature is not feasible. Adding the solar cells in the focal line uses the concentrating effect of the shield to advantage to accomplish two processes with a single device. This shield can be a deployable, lightweight Mylar structure for compact transport.
This work was done by David Larry Clark of Lockheed Martin Space Systems for Johnson Space Center. For further information, contact the JSC Innovation Partnerships Office at (281) 483-3809. MSC-24447-1