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Space based solar power April 16, 2012

Posted by Mark Flavin in Technology.
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Image credit: SpaceWorks Engineering Inc.

Over time there have been initiatives to move the production of solar energy into space. The thought is that the relative power available is higher than on earth without the  atmosphere attenuating it and also the facility is never on the night side of the planet. Transferring the energy from space to earth would be via wireless power transmission (WPT) which could be done via micro wave transfer to a terrestrial receiver. This concept is not new, it was patented by Dr. Peter Glaser back in 1973. Tests were run by NASA  in the ’70s at their Goldstone facility which were promising and indicated transmission efficiency of 80%.

Now there is new interest since the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) published a paper on space power in August of last year. This comprehensive study called Space Solar Power delineates the technology, economics and logistics of generating power in space for terrestrial consumption.

What a great reason to live and work in space;  assembling large collector arrays to beam energy to our planet. Sign me up!

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