First test of solar power satellite hardware in orbit

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory engineers launched PRAM, the Photovoltaic Radio-frequency Antenna Module, aboard an Air Force X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle on May 17 as part of a comprehensive investigation into prospective terrestrial ...

Laser-powered rover to explore moon's dark shadows

A laser light shone through the dark could power robotic exploration of the most tantalizing locations in our solar system: the permanently-shadowed craters around the moon's poles, believed to be rich in water ice and other ...

Hubble's impactful life alongside space debris

During its 30 years in orbit around Earth, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has witnessed the changing nature of spaceflight as the skies have filled with greater numbers of satellites, the International Space Station ...

Mars helicopter attached to NASA's Perseverance rover

With the launch period of NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover opening in 14 weeks, final preparations of the spacecraft continue at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. In the past week, the assembly, test and launch operations ...

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Photovoltaic module

A photovoltaic module or photovoltaic panel is a packaged interconnected assembly of photovoltaic cells, also known as solar cells. The photovoltaic module, known more commonly as the solar panel, is then used as a component in a larger photovoltaic system to offer electricity for commercial and residential applications.

Because a single photovoltaic module can only produce a certain amount of wattage, installations intended to produce larger electrical power capacity require an installation of several modules or panels and this is known as a photovoltaic array. A photovoltaic installation typically includes an array of photovoltaic modules or panels, an inverter, batteries and interconnection wiring.

Photovoltaic systems are used for either on- or off-grid applications, and for solar panels on spacecraft.

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