These are photoelectric converters – solid-state devices converting solar energy into the flow of direct current. Simply stated, these are solar batteries. Artificial Earth satellites work at space orbits with help of such panels. They are produced in Krasnodar – at the “Saturn” factory.
“Saturn” is one of the two leaders at the Russian market making solar and storage batteries for the needs of the space industry – military and civil ones. All profit of the enterprise remains in Krasnodar for development of the production facilities.
Everything starts here. There is a gas reactor in this room inside of which they grow a crystal layer that will serve as the basis of the future photocell. Such a device costs about 3 million euros.
Electric contacts will be applied to both sides of the photocell. More than 20 technological operations are made on various apparatuses before the photocell becomes the basis of the solar panel.
Mask aligner. “Patterns” of the electric contacts are formed here on the photocells. The machine operates automatically.
Electric contacts and dielectrics are applied with an electronic beam in the vacuum eveporator. Also antireflective coating is applied (it increases current produced by a photocell for 30%).
The photocell is ready and now the solar battery can be assembled.
The photocell is covered with the protective glass, under the conditions of radiation in space the photocell would not withstand the load without it, though it is only 0,12 mm thick the battery will serve for more than 15 years with such photocells.
Photocells are connected with silver contacts which are only 0,02 mm thick.