Power from space to light up our cities!
Posted on Mar 18 2014 | IANS
Washington, March 18 : How about capturing the sun's energy right in space and beaming the solar power back to earth that can power military installations and even cities!
If we believe the US navy researchers, one km wide giant orbiting solar panels can do the job of beaming power from space.
Sounding like a sci-fi plot, Paul Jaffe, a spacecraft engineer at the US Naval Research Laboratory, has built and tested two types of modules to capture and transmit solar power.
"Launching mass into space is very expensive so finding a way to keep the components light is an essential part of the design," Jaffe was quoted as saying.
The scheme uses a 'sandwich' module which packs all the electrical components between two square panels.
The top side is a photo-voltaic panel that absorbs the sun's rays.
An electronics system in the middle converts the energy to a radio frequency.
The bottom is an antenna that transfers the power toward a target on the ground.
The step module design, now in the patent process, opens up the sandwich to look more like a zig-zag.
This allows heat to radiate more efficiently, so the module can receive greater concentrations of sunlight without overheating.
Jaffe imagines the array of modules to be nine times larger than the International Space Station (ISS), a Daily Mail report said.