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Why do the satellites never run out of power do they have batteries that are charged by sunlight everyday? Also they transmit so much information across the globe.

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migrated from astronomy.stackexchange.com Jan 2 '16 at 18:54

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    $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite#Power_subsystem $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Jan 2 '16 at 16:45
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    $\begingroup$ What makes you say that satellites never run out of power? $\endgroup$ – a CVn Jan 2 '16 at 18:57
  • $\begingroup$ because they keep transmitting data from telephone signals to movie channels and have no source of energy except the sunlight once they are in a orbit around the earth $\endgroup$ – varunk Jan 2 '16 at 23:02
  • $\begingroup$ @sonukumar And why do you think sunlight isn't a source of energy? Solar cells were originally developed for space use! They produce considerably more power with no atmosphere in the way, never go behind clouds and the night in space is always short. $\endgroup$ – Loren Pechtel Jan 3 '16 at 3:27
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to stackexchange! I think your question is very good, but some people didn't like the wording. Something like "How long can communications last?" or even better "What are the things that limit the useful lifetime of a communications satellite?" is better. The "never run out..." part causes problems because it's not really true. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Mar 16 '16 at 3:31
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Actually, satellites may kind of run out of power when their solar panels stop working properly because they have degraded with age. Then we lose connection with them and they become just trash in orbit which is endangering other satellites and most importantly the ISS.

So yes, satellites use solar energy and it is enough, since those in space are much more efficient. At 500 kilometers a satellite is not exposed to direct sunshine for more than 38% of the time. Also on Earth you encounter with cloudy weather, storms and so on.

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    $\begingroup$ They also run out of gas for their maneuvering thrusters and drift off station, or use up all their coolant and become too warm to function properly. $\endgroup$ – Wayfaring Stranger Jan 3 '16 at 17:05

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