NanoRacks-Valley Christian High School of Dublin-Evaluating Solar Liquid Power in Space: Converting Electromagnetic Radiation to Electricity (NanoRacks-VCHSD-Evaluating Solar Liquid Power in Space) - 09.27.17

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
The sun is the primary source of energy in space, but collecting and using solar power means sending bulky solar panels into orbit. NanoRacks-Valley Christian High School of Dublin-Evaluating Solar Liquid Power in Space:  Converting Electromagnetic Radiation to Electricity (NanoRacks-VCHSD-Evaluating Solar Liquid Power in Space) studies a new energy source called Solar Liquid Power (SLP), a paint-like coating that solidifies after being applied and converts electromagnetic radiation into usable electricity.
 
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by James Johnson, Ph.D., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom: NanoRacks Module-22 S/N 1003

Principal Investigator(s)
Valley Christian High School of Dublin , Valley Christian High School of Dublin, Dublin, CA, United States

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
James Johnson, Ph.D., Valley Christian High School, Dublin, CA, United States

Developer(s)
Valley Christian High School of Dublin, Dublin, CA, United States
NanoRacks, LLC, Webster, TX, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
National Laboratory Education (NLE)

Research Benefits
Space Exploration, Earth Benefits

ISS Expedition Duration
March 2015 - March 2016

Expeditions Assigned
43/44,45/46

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • The purpose of NanoRacks-Valley Christian High School of Dublin-Evaluating Solar Liquid Power in Space: Converting Electromagnetic Radiation to Electricity (NanoRacks-VCHSD-Evaluating Solar Liquid Power in Space) is to analyze the performance of Solar Liquid Power (SLP), a new energy source which combines nanotechnology and electrochemistry in the form of a paint-like coating.
  • SLP is comparable to a solar panel in function but differs in form; it is a coating that solidifies after applied to a surface, and is efficient in converting electromagnetic radiation to electricity.

Description
NanoRacks-Valley Christian High School of Dublin-Evaluating Solar Liquid Power in Space: Converting Electromagnetic Radiation to Electricity (NanoRacks-VCHSD-Evaluating Solar Liquid Power in Space) analyzes the performance of Solar Liquid Power (SLP), a new energy source which combines nanotechnology and electrochemistry in the form of a paint-like coating, aboard the International Space Station (ISS) under microgravitational conditions and cosmic radiation.  When the NanoRacks Module is powered, seven light-emitting diodes  (LEDs) ranging from infrared to visible to ultraviolet are activated. This electromagnetic radiation of different wavelengths charge the SLP and generate electricity. A voltage detector is used to measure the voltage output of the SLP for each wavelength of light emitted by the LEDs. This process is repeated for 30 days on the ISS. An identical NanoRacks Module is tested simultaneously on Earth as the control.  Gravitational force and cosmic radiation are the independent variables. The voltage output of the SLP varies inversely with wavelength, but the change in efficiency may be affected by the microgravity conditions. A Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code (BASIC) Stamp Microcontroller records the data.  When this data is transferred in the Module download on-orbit, the data is provided to the Valley Christian Dublin team for analysis by NanoRacks. The output from the on-orbit experiment is compared with that of the experiment on Earth to determine the effect of microgravity on the performance of SLP.

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Applications

Space Applications

The International Space Station relies on an array of solar panels to collect sunlight and convert it into energy, but they are fragile and bulky, putting the station at risk for power issues if micrometeoroids or space debris cause damage. Solar Liquid Power combines nanotechnology and electrochemistry to convert sunlight into electricity, but in the form of a paint-like coating that hardens when it dries. This investigation studies how well it performs in microgravity and when it is exposed to cosmic radiation.
 

Earth Applications
Solar cells are becoming more efficient, but they require large areas to collect sunlight and they can be damaged in the elements. Solar Liquid Power is a possible alternative for solar power systems. In addition, students from Valley Christian High School in Dublin, CA, designed this investigation, gaining experience in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts and connecting them to the space program.

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Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols

Data collection within the experiment is automated; downlink is done via scheduled STELLA/NanoRacks command window intervals for the NanoRacks Platform.  Payload is ambient and soft-stowed, but late loaded (approximately L-72hr) and an early return.

Crew interaction with NanoRacks Module-22 is limited to transferring the NanoRacks Module from the launch vehicle to the ISS, installing the Module into a NanoRacks Platform, activating the NanoRacks Platform, data retrieval (as needed) during the mission, and destowing and returning the Module.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites
NanoRacks
ASGSR

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Imagery

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The NanoRacks-Valley Christian High School of Dublin-Evaluating Solar Liquid Power in Space: Converting Electromagnetic Radiation to Electricity (NanoRacks-VCHSD-Evaluating Solar Liquid Power in Space) team from Valley Christian High School of Dublin, CA.   Image courtesy Valley Christian High School of Dublin.

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Preparing the solar liquid power coating for two interior walls of the NanoRacks-Valley Christian High School of Dublin-Evaluating Solar Liquid Power in Space: Converting Electromagnetic Radiation to Electricity (NanoRacks-VCHSD-Evaluating Solar Liquid Power in Space) investigation.  Image courtesy Valley Christian High School of Dublin.

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Testing the NanoRacks-Valley Christian High School of Dublin-Evaluating Solar Liquid Power in Space: Converting Electromagnetic Radiation to Electricity (NanoRacks-VCHSD-Evaluating Solar Liquid Power in Space) voltage performance in light. Image courtesy Valley Christian High School of Dublin.

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Assessing the solar cells' voltage readings with LED illumination in preparation for two interior walls of the NanoRacks-Valley Christian High School of Dublin-Evaluating Solar Liquid Power in Space: Converting Electromagnetic Radiation to Electricity (NanoRacks-VCHSD-Evaluating Solar Liquid Power in Space) investigation.   Image courtesy Valley Christian High School of Dublin.

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