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Energy solar space farms  next step in renewable energy | Upload Solar

Solar Space Farms: Next Step In Renewable Energy

by: Marike Boonstra
solar space farms  next step in renewable energy | Upload

The green energy revolution continues to accelerate - solar parks are a familiar sight all over the world. But China wants to take solar energy to a whole new level. The nation’s ambition is to put a solar power station in orbit by 2050, a solar space farm.

Solar Space Farm

With this solar space farm, China will have access to the most reliable source of renewable energy, since the sun always shines in space. If this costly and challenging plan will work, it will make China the first nation to harness the sun’s energy in space and beam it to Earth. Are solar space farms the answer to our prayers or a mission impossible?

Solar Energy: The Inexhaustible Source

It seems to be a great idea: a solar space farm as an inexhaustible source of energy. "You don’t have to deal with the day and night cycle, and you don’t have to deal with clouds or seasons, so you end up having eight to nine times more solar power available to you," said Ali Hajimiri, a professor of electrical engineering at the California Institute of Technology and director of the university’s Space Solar Power Project for solar space farms.

(Recommended: Solar Energy Turned Into Liquid Fuel Can Be Stored For 18 Years)

Energy Demands

So why haven’t anyone thought of this before? Well, the thought of using solar space farms is nothing new. The idea was very vivid in the 1970s. The research stalled mainly because the technological demands of a solar power station in space were thought to be too complicated. But nowadays, there is a massive progression in technology compared to a few years ago. The improvements in the design and efficiency of photovoltaic cells and advances in wireless transmission are making it possible to pick up where researchers left off.

How much of a difference will these improvements make? Asked John Mankins, a physicist who led the agency’s efforts in the field in the 1990s before NASA abandoned the investigation. “We’re seeing a bit of a resurgence now, and it’s probably because the ability to make solar farms in space is there, thanks to new technologies."  

According to Mankins, there is another factor driving the revived interest in this kind of renewable power. The world’s population is growing – it’s expected to swell to 9 billion by 2050. Space-based solar power can become essential to meet the energy demands of people in parts of the world that aren’t mainly sunny. “If you look at the next 50 years, the energy demand is stupendous. If you can harvest sunlight with solar farms in space where the sun is always shining and deliver it with essentially no interruptions to Earth — and you can do all that at an affordable price, you win."



                                                      Solar Farms In Space: Next Step In Renewable Energy
                                                                              

Solar Space Farm: Is The Mission Impossible?

Details of China’s plan remain a secret. According to Mankins, the nation can 'launch tens of thousands of 'solar satellites' that would link up to form an enormous cone-shaped structure that orbits about 22,000 miles above Earth. They would be covered with photovoltaic panels to convert sunlight into energy, which would be beamed wirelessly to ground-based receivers. Such a solar facility could generate a steady flow of 2,000 gigawatts of power.’ There are still some hurdles to overcome, like the weight of the solar panels.

(Recommended: Waste In Space Will Be Fetched By The Cubesail carbage Truck)

It will also cost billions of dollars to make these solar farms in space happen. The research, the tests, and the solar satellites itself (price tag: about ten billion each) will make this a costly project. China hasn’t revealed how much it’s spending to develop its solar power stations. Still, the China Daily reported that the nation is already building a test facility in the southwestern city of Chongqing. It doesn’t seem like a mission impossible. China is taking a key position in the development of solar farms in space.

According to John Mankins, a solar power station in space is a beautiful thing. “For a lot of locations, rooftop solar is fabulous, but a lot of the world is not like Arizona (or other sunny places). Millions of people live where large, ground-based solar arrays are not economical,” he said. Mankins hailed recent developments in the field and said he is keen to follow China’s new initiative.

What do you think - is this the next step in renewable energy?

Before you go!

Recommended: Recycling Human Waste In Space Into Plastic Tools And Food

Did you find this an interesting article, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below.
We try to respond the same day.

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Solar Space Farms: Next Step In Renewable Energy

The green energy revolution continues to accelerate - solar parks are a familiar sight all over the world. But China wants to take solar energy to a whole new level. The nation’s ambition is to put a solar power station in orbit by 2050, a solar space farm. Solar Space Farm With this solar space farm, China will have access to the most reliable source of renewable energy, since the sun always shines in space. If this costly and challenging plan will work, it will make China the first nation to harness the sun’s energy in space and beam it to Earth. Are solar space farms the answer to our prayers or a mission impossible? Solar Energy: The Inexhaustible Source It seems to be a great idea: a solar space farm as an inexhaustible source of energy. "You don’t have to deal with the day and night cycle, and you don’t have to deal with clouds or seasons, so you end up having eight to nine times more solar power available to you," said Ali Hajimiri, a professor of electrical engineering at the California Institute of Technology and director of the university’s Space Solar Power Project for solar space farms. ( Recommended: Solar Energy Turned Into Liquid Fuel Can Be Stored For 18 Years ) Energy Demands So why haven’t anyone thought of this before? Well, the thought of using solar space farms is nothing new. The idea was very vivid in the 1970s. The research stalled mainly because the technological demands of a solar power station in space were thought to be too complicated. But nowadays, there is a massive progression in technology compared to a few years ago. The improvements in the design and efficiency of photovoltaic cells and advances in wireless transmission are making it possible to pick up where researchers left off. How much of a difference will these improvements make? Asked John Mankins, a physicist who led the agency’s efforts in the field in the 1990s before NASA abandoned the investigation. “We’re seeing a bit of a resurgence now, and it’s probably because the ability to make solar farms in space is there, thanks to new technologies."   According to Mankins, there is another factor driving the revived interest in this kind of renewable power. The world’s population is growing – it’s expected to swell to 9 billion by 2050. Space-based solar power can become essential to meet the energy demands of people in parts of the world that aren’t mainly sunny. “If you look at the next 50 years, the energy demand is stupendous. If you can harvest sunlight with solar farms in space where the sun is always shining and deliver it with essentially no interruptions to Earth — and you can do all that at an affordable price, you win." {youtube}                                                       Solar Farms In Space: Next Step In Renewable Energy                                                                                Solar Space Farm: Is The Mission Impossible? Details of China’s plan remain a secret. According to Mankins, the nation can 'launch tens of thousands of 'solar satellites' that would link up to form an enormous cone-shaped structure that orbits about 22,000 miles above Earth. They would be covered with photovoltaic panels to convert sunlight into energy, which would be beamed wirelessly to ground-based receivers. Such a solar facility could generate a steady flow of 2,000 gigawatts of power.’ There are still some hurdles to overcome, like the weight of the solar panels. ( Recommended: Waste In Space Will Be Fetched By The Cubesail carbage Truck ) It will also cost billions of dollars to make these solar farms in space happen. The research, the tests, and the solar satellites itself (price tag: about ten billion each) will make this a costly project. China hasn’t revealed how much it’s spending to develop its solar power stations. Still, the China Daily reported that the nation is already building a test facility in the southwestern city of Chongqing. It doesn’t seem like a mission impossible. China is taking a key position in the development of solar farms in space. According to John Mankins, a solar power station in space is a beautiful thing. “For a lot of locations, rooftop solar is fabulous, but a lot of the world is not like Arizona (or other sunny places). Millions of people live where large, ground-based solar arrays are not economical,” he said. Mankins hailed recent developments in the field and said he is keen to follow China’s new initiative. What do you think - is this the next step in renewable energy? Before you go! Recommended:  Recycling Human Waste In Space Into Plastic Tools And Food Did you find this an interesting article, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your article about green energy from space? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage.'
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