Solar energy and space technology – two fields of science development which can be a chance for brighter future of mankind. Both of them brings innovative solutions which are used in other areas. For some time there have been efforts to combine to reach new quality in our technology evolution. How? - check it yourself
Star Trek or reality?
Without doubt all of you watched some SF movies and were wondering „is it possible to reach such high technology level?” or maybe „when will we get such amazing possibilities of exploring space?” It's nothing revelatory to state that future of next generations mainly depends on technology development (with a strong focus on space technology) and decisions about supporting RES and other ecologic actions. There are already a lot of interesting ideas which try to explore this subject, but one of the most promising seems to be the already mentioned combining of solar energy and space technology. We discused this topic in one of our previous articles, but we think it is really interesting and we did not exhaust it.
Why is it so interesting?
The answer is simple: because it may hold considerable opportunities which are still out of reach for standard solar technology. PV panels efficiency will grow rapidly thanks to many harvesting energy factors. They won't be restricted by clouds covering the sky or any other weather conditions; it will also exclude solar radiation losses, which are inevitable while energy from Sun is passing the atmosphere of our planet and losses connected with Earth rotation. Possibility of constant and free energy generation sounds quite good, don't you think?
Energy, which can get to every part of the Earth without any cables or transmission towers, according to actual demands – this interesting idea is also included in this project. How designers want to achieve such outstanding effect? They propose the use of microwave or laser technology and focus it's beam onto rectenna placed on Earth surface. This way of idea utilization could be a great chance to open cooperation with other solar inventions (like for example mentioned in article above PowerMod solar tent).
As people involved in the project claim: it could be solution not only for Earth energetic demands, but also for other main problems of mankind, for example hunger in some parts of world. You could get more details about this inspiring concept and other possibilities which are included in presentation below:
Is this idea really a chance to become real, useful help in addressing the problems of global energy? Could it be a solution for still growing electricity demands? Some people regard solar energy as a fairy tale full of empty promises. Solar market statistics prove that they are wrong – fast development and even greater market value show that solar energy has become a force to be reckoned with.
Solar energy and space technology - future for us all?
It's nothing new, that solar energy is used in space technology – solar powered satellites existed in history for over 50 years. First example on this new path was Vanguard 1, launched in 1958 by US. We also know solar spacecraft like, for example „Dawn”. There are still many exciting ideas which can't be implemented nowadays, but deserve closer attention. One of them is from the „Shimizu's Dreams” - Lunar Solar Power Generation – „Luna Ring”, which is mentioned for example in Wikipedia, but we prefer reach to the main source:
Shimizu homepage contains additional information, such as movie presenting the concept and brochure about project (including it's stages) with outline of human space exploration and company role in this process. I guess, that no one underestimates Japanese contribution in technology sector and suspects that such large and serious company as Shimizu posted information on their site for marketing or PR purpose...
What will it bring for us? Will solar space technology change the face of energy distribution on our planet? Will it help in battle against global warming and provide electricity for every corner of the Earth? It's hard to answer this questions, but we hope that significant work of companies such as Shimizu, government institutions as NASA and many international organizations could change future generations' living conditions and perspectives for better.