The November 30 mission of Space Shuttle Endeavour will enable the
crew of Expedition One to throw the switch on the US portion of the
electric power system. The P6 integrated truss structure includes a
collection of power system electronics and the large solar arrays that
will collect, store, distribute and control the solar energy that will
power the early scientific research to be conducted on the station.

Major components being launched on STS-97 include:

  • The Integrated Equipment Assembly (IEA) is a collection of power
    system electronics, interconnections, and cooling system packaged
    together on a structure that serves both as a launch carrier and
    as a key element of the space station primary truss. The IEA receives,
    conditions, stores, distributes, and controls electric power for
    the space station and its users.
  • The Solar Arrays are the largest ever space arrays to convert
    solar energy into electric power. Tightly compacted during launch
    into two 20-inch high boxes, each is deployed on-orbit to a 115-ft.
    long array, for a total wing-span of about 240-ft.
  • The Early External Active Thermal Control System (EEATCS) is
    a temporary cooling system to provide heat rejection capability
    for the US Lab during station assembly to enable early research.

The Space Station Electric Power System (EPS) is the largest space
power system ever developed. When complete the EPS will be the most
massive power system to be constructed on-orbit. Including a vast array
of hardware developed in the U.S., Russia, Europe and Japan – and more
than eight miles of wiring – the highly redundant system will generate
110 kilowatts of power to the orbiting outpost, the equivalent of supplying
electricity for 75 homes on Earth. Operating with a primary distribution
system of 160-volts and a secondary 120-volt system, the EPS is the
first space power system to operate at such a high voltage compared
to the typical 28-volts on the Space Shuttle and most satellites. The
system is also unique because it must be continuously operational while
it is being assembled.

The electric power system for the International Space Station is developed
by The Boeing Company at Canoga Park, Calif.