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Last Post 10/16/2012 8:26 PM by  Kelly Larson
Solar energy
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10/14/2012 9:34 PM
    Have any of you worked in the solar energy business aside from studying the sun, or have family who does?
    Tags: Jupiter, solar energy, Juno, Solar Panels

    Kris Sigsbee

    Basic Member

    Basic Member

    10/15/2012 9:51 AM


    I have not worked in the solar energy business, and no one in my family has, either. However, advancements in solar panel technology are very important to the kinds of work that I do, as most satellites today are solar-powered. When early spacecraft like Pioneer and Voyager were sent into space to explore the outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune), they had to use radioactive materials to provide electrical power and heat the spacecraft. These spacecraft were traveling so far away from the Sun, that the solar panel technology available when they were launched could not provide enough power for all of the instruments. However, solar panel technology has improved so much since the 1970s, that the Juno mission to Jupiter launched in 2011 was able to use solar panels instead of radioactive materials. Juno is the first mission to the outer planets to use solar panels, and it has an instrument on board built by my co-workers here at the University of Iowa. You can read more about Juno and its solar panels here:


    Kelly Larson

    New Member

    New Member

    10/16/2012 8:26 PM


    I design and install solar electric (PV) systems. I also teach others how to design and install systems. I know lots of folks making a living working in solar energy. If you are interested in the solar business, I highly recommend that you try to attend an energy fair or conference. Where are you? I can suggest one if I know where you are.

    Sunny day,


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