We are talking of a Space Station lasting several decades or even longer . For such a system we require new generation of power supplies and much better than the systems we have now. The power supply system is a vital component of the spaceship. These systems have to be extremely reliable, say ZERO FAILURES, and designed to work in severe conditions. At the same time most modern complex devices used on such systems demand more and more energy, and these also complicates the designs of the future power supplies on such stations.
Normally, when designing an item like a phone, it is considered that it will be regularly recharged and it will hardly appear in several million kilometers away from the next electrical socket for its charging.
However, to charge the accumulators of the spaceship which is in a hundred million kilometers from a electrical source turns out that the approach changes - it requires that it must have the capability to have onboard the batteries of sufficient capacity to work decades, and autonomous -generate electric power independently.
To solve such design problems is quite not an easy thing.
At the same time, some onboard devices dont need electricity all the time and must be available when requured witiyt failure, and others have to be continousky supplied and work constantly.
For example, the receivers and transmitters in the piloted flight or at the manned space station including a life support system, ventilation, illumination have to be switched on always.
Currently, about 30% of all mass of a spacecraft are usually the power system. It is required to solve three main objectives:
Generation, Electrical power storage and distribution.
These parts of the system are vital for operations of the devices. They don', need to be heavy, must be durable and with a high "power density" - that is to generate a lot of energy at quite small volumes.
Besides, they have to be fantastically reliable to avoid cases of unforseen breakdown in space.
These systems has to generate enough energy for all requirements, but also reliably at all tines - and for decades or centuries.
For proper imagination on operation of such a long operating system,- we look for exmaple at the flight to Jupiter can take from five to seven years, to Pluto - more than 10 years and to leave the limits of the Solar system, may take from 20 to 30 years. These are the periods we are looking at when designing our system.
One more problem to consider wheile designing our power systems of the space station are the very specific conditions under which the components are going to function - Since they have to maintain their functioning capacity in the absence of gravitation, in a vacuum, under the influence of very intensive radiation , that can put the majority of ordinary electronic devices out of function, and also must be able to function under extreme temperatures.
With above considerations, our selections and designs must strictly bare in mind while coming up with the design of our space station.