Solar space station. Image: Andrey Armyagov Shutterstock
China seeks the highest efficiency to generate clean energy, and this project seems like science fiction. It is a solar station that will not suffer interference from the atmosphere since it will be located thirty-six thousand kilometers from Earth and will even serve to explore other planets.
China has announced a project for the construction of a photovoltaic solar station that will be thirty-six thousand kilometers from Earth. The idea is that it can capture the sun’s rays without interference from the atmosphere, generating energy twenty-four hours a day.
As it does not have the interference of the atmosphere, it is much more efficient, it improves the capture of energy by up to six times if compared to a conventional photovoltaic system located on the ground.
Solar energy would be sent to earth via microwaves or laser beams, once on land it would be converted into electricity for consumption in the conventional electrical grid.
How will a solar plant be built in the stratosphere?
In Chongqing city, construction of an experimental space power plant has started. The first step consists of the design and commissioning of small solar power space plants, between 2021 and 2025. Once they are ready they will be sent to space.
Depending on the results of the tests, a large-scale solar plant would be designed; It is expected to weigh approximately 1000 tons, built by robots and 3D printing technology. It should be ready in 2030.
The solar station requires the construction of a base of operations on land. It will be ready in about two years. Once operational, balloons equipped with solar panels will be built and used to verify microwave transmission technology.
Four to six balloons are expected to be launched from the test base to connect them together. Being interconnected, a network is configured at an altitude of approximately 1,000 meters.
There are aspects that require further research and development. The long-term impact of microwave radiation from a special station on the atmosphere is unknown .
China’s intention is to offer another solution for the decarbonization of its economy. In addition, by having a power station in space, they will have more facilities for exploring other planets.
More information: www.smh.com.au