Solar power stations in space: An alternative source of energy?
Scientists have been searching for means to get a better source of power. These substitutes should be cheaper and more efficient than solar and nuclear. Some have suggested space shuttles distributing solar energy to Earth.
Power stations producing energy, a viable option
Although it might sound like sci-fi, there is the probability that solar power stations in space can produce an immense amount of energy. It was first thought by Russian scientist Konstantin, who was trying to develop a way to get cheap energy for space shuttles.
About 100 years later, energy developers are coming up with something similar which could come to a reality. Recently, the European Space commission discussed the possibility of funding research that could focus on space energy. This research was encouraged by the problem of climate change and the need for humans to focus on safer and cheaper means of energy.
There have been attempts to develop renewable energy to improve energy at affordable rates. However, some problems with renewable energy are that they don’t provide a constant source of energy.
A good example is that wind and solar energy creates energy only when there is a huge wind and sun. However, how long will humans depend on these variables to get light? The ideal need is for humans to find a way to save energy largely before switching to alternative sources of energy. An alternative situation is to generate energy from space.
Benefits of this alternative source of energy
The advantages of these proposals are numerous. Firstly, the space-based solar station will move around the sun 24/7, giving the earth’s atmosphere the chance to absorb some energy in already prepared solar panels.
There are some drawbacks: cost to launch and maintain space shuttle, software to regulate solar panels to be able to withstand the sun’s energy amongst others. Some solutions have been suggested to go around this.
They include creating small satellites that could be cheaper and manned interchangeably by trained astronauts. In several universities in US, there are blueprints of how these small shuttles could be designed, and how this solar, energy from space could be transmitted.