How do solar panels supply energy for spacecraft?
A shunt is a very large resistor that converts electric energy running through it into heat so that it can be lost in space. Since DS1's solar panels can't be turned on or off once they are deployed, there will be times when there is too much electricity generated than DS1 needs. DS1 needs a way to get rid of that extra energy, and they do so by turning it into heat by passing it through a resistor.
Heat can leave a spacecraft two ways:
Infrared light consists of very long waves. An object can absorb and emit infrared light. When an object absorbs infrared light, it heats up. Your car heats up in the Sun due to the same effect. Your dashboard absorbs energy emitted from the Sun, then re-emits it as infrared radiation. But, because this radiation cannot go through the glass, the car will become hotter since it cannot radiate the heat energy to the outside of the car.
How do solar panels convert the Sun's energy into electricity?
How does power get distributed in DS1?
What is heat?
How and why do we control heat on a spacecraft?
Does heat travel differently in space than it does on Earth?
How much power does DS1 use? How much power does it produce?
Where does energy come from and go?
Why does electrical current make heat?
What's a resistor?
What other forms of energy does a spacecraft releases into space?
What happens to the heat once it is released into space?