But how do we get the energy from space back down to Earth? One of the major challenges associated with this technology is the ability to transport collected energy to Earth. In this article, we will go over the two major viable methods of space-to-Earth power transmission:
Discontinuation[ edit ] The project was not continued with the change in administrations after the US Federal elections. The Office of Technology Assessment concluded that "Too little is currently known about the technical, economic, and environmental aspects of SPS to make a sound decision whether to proceed with its development and deployment.
In addition, without further research an SPS demonstration or systems-engineering verification program would be a high-risk venture. This is, of course, an absolute requirement of space solar power. Pete Worden of NASA claimed that space-based solar is about five orders of magnitude more expensive than solar power from the Arizona desert, with a major cost being the Solar power transmission system of materials to orbit.
Worden referred to possible solutions as speculative, and which would not be available for decades at the earliest. Perform design studies of selected flight demonstration concepts. Evaluate studies of the general feasibility, design, and requirements. Create conceptual designs of subsystems that make use of advanced SSP technologies to benefit future space or terrestrial applications.
Formulate a preliminary plan of action for the U. SERT proposed an inflatable photovoltaic gossamer structure with concentrator lenses or solar heat engines to convert sunlight into electricity.
The program looked both at systems Solar power transmission system sun-synchronous orbit and geosynchronous orbit.
The increasing global energy demand is likely to continue for many decades resulting in new power plants of all sizes being built. The environmental impact of those plants and their impact on world energy supplies and geopolitical relationships can be problematic.
Renewable energy is a compelling approach, both philosophically and in engineering terms. Many renewable energy sources are limited in their ability to affordably provide the base load power required for global industrial development and prosperity, because of inherent land and water requirements.
Based on their Concept Definition Study, space solar power concepts may be ready to reenter the discussion. Solar power satellites should no longer be envisioned as requiring unimaginably large initial investments in fixed infrastructure before the emplacement of productive power plants can begin.
Space solar power systems appear to possess many significant environmental advantages when compared to alternative approaches. The economic viability of space solar power systems depends on many factors and the successful development of various new technologies not least of which is the availability of much lower cost access to space than has been available ; however, the same can be said of many other advanced power technologies options.
Space solar power may well emerge as a serious candidate among the options for meeting the energy demands of the 21st century. Dudenhoefer and Patrick J. This is the standard plan for this type of power. It is always solar noon in space and full sun.
Collecting surfaces could receive much more intense sunlight, owing to the lack of obstructions such as atmospheric gassescloudsdust and other weather events. A collecting satellite could possibly direct power on demand to different surface locations based on geographical baseload or peak load power needs.
Typical contracts would be for baseload, continuous power, since peaking power is ephemeral. This would be desirable for counteracting the effects of global warming.
The SBSP concept also has a number of problems: Maintenance of an earth-based solar panel is relatively simple, but construction and maintenance on a solar panel in space would typically be done telerobotically. In addition to cost, astronauts working in GEO geosynchronous Earth orbit are exposed to unacceptably high radiation dangers and risk and cost about one thousand times more than the same task done telerobotically.
The space environment is hostile; panels suffer about 8 times the degradation they would on Earth except at orbits that are protected by the magnetosphere. Space-based solar power essentially consists of three elements: It needs no protection from terrestrial wind or weather, but will have to cope with space hazards such as micrometeors and solar flares.
Two basic methods of conversion have been studied: Most analyses of SBSP have focused on photovoltaic conversion using solar cells that directly convert sunlight into electricity.
Solar dynamic uses mirrors to concentrate light on a boiler. The use of solar dynamic could reduce mass per watt.
Microwave power transmission[ edit ] William C. Between andBill Brown was technical director of a JPL Raytheon program that beamed 30 kW of power over a distance of 1 mile 1.A guide to utility-scale solar energy and electric transmission, with related potential environmental considerations, photos, maps, and links.
A basic understanding of utility-scale solar energy and electric transmission is important to informed participation in the Solar . Space-based solar power systems convert sunlight to microwaves outside the atmosphere, avoiding these losses and the downtime due to the Earth's rotation, but at great cost due to the expense of launching material into orbit.
Solar power is the conversion of energy from sunlight into electricity, from the calculator powered by a single solar cell to remote homes powered by an off-grid rooftop PV system. Commercial concentrated solar power plants were first developed in the s. Long distance transmission allows remote renewable energy resources to displace.
Space-based solar power (SBSP) The SBSP concept, originally known as satellite solar-power system as it is demonstrated by the Special Session on "Analysis of Electromagnetic Wireless Systems for Solar Power Transmission" to be held in the IEEE Symposium on Antennas and Propagation.
Power System Models and Tools: Improved modeling and simulation of both PV and CSP plants in utility-standard simulation platforms for transmission planning and interconnection studies are critical to increasing the solar grid integration.
Better power flow models, small- and large-signal dynamic models, short-circuit models, and transient stability models are needed to properly study the impact of solar . Oct 06, · In a previous article, I explained the concept of harvesting solar energy from space using an SSPS (Space Solar Power System).
One of the major challenges associated with this technology is the ability to transport collected energy to Earth. In this article, we will go over the two major viable methods of space-to-Earth power transmission: lasers and microwaves.