CSIRO teams up with SMC and Gilmour Space Technologies for solar panel tests

16th Sep 2021
CSIRO teams up with SMC and Gilmour Space Technologies for solar panel tests

Australia’s science agency CSIRO plans to team up with an Adelaide-based Space Machines Company (SMC) to test innovative solar panels that will, later on, be launched to space by Gilmour Space Technologies. Gilmour is one of the leading space companies in Australia and the only launch provider that can deploy CSIRO and SMC’s thin polar panels to space.

CSIRO’s Innovative Solar Panels

The actual concept of thin-film flexible solar panels is not new, but so far, it has lagged behind in efficiency in comparison to silicon and glass panels. CSIRO is now designing a model of printable, lightweight, and semi-transparent panels that could become the next source of energy for the new-generation of spacecraft.

The agency uses organic and inorganic materials and claims to have already achieved a 19% efficiency boost. The main benefit of this technology is that CSIRO panels will be lightweight and flexible, giving them a competitive edge over bulkier, traditional solar panels.

According to Mei Gao, a CSIRO principal research scientist, partnering up with Space Machines Company and Gilmour Space Technologies will give the agency a chance to test solar panels in space.

SMC & Gilmour Space Technologies On New Tech

Rajat Kulshrestha, CEO and founder of SMC, is confident that CSIRO’s innovative solar panels are a great alternative to traditional, heavyweight models. The panels will be used in places where traditional panels would not fit. Besides, CSIRO PV panels are more affordable than traditional cells.

According to Kulshrestha, this collaboration is an important milestone to achieving Australia’s sovereignty in space. CSM plans to take CSIRO panels as payloads and test them for performance and efficiency compared to traditional heavyweight models. And this is exactly where a leading launch operator Gilmour Space Technologies comes in.

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