Researchers around the world are betting that beaming solar energy from space will be one of the most important advances in providing clean energy for the planet.
It is possible that the invention of the first photovoltaic cells that derive their energy directly from sunlight by the inventor Charles Frits in the eighties of the nineteenth century led some to speculate that this achievement would soon bring about a revolution in the field of electricity production in the world, which is a logical prediction. Sunlight is the least expensive, cleanest and most widespread of all energy sources, but about one hundred and forty years after the emergence of the star of solar energy, and despite the tremendous technical developments – and continuous – that made solar energy more capable and less expensive than ever before, The percentage of reliance on solar energy in generating electricity around the world is still less than five percent. This is due to the fact that solar energy – despite its many advantages – has disadvantages that may prevent it from being fully utilized, the most important of which is the disadvantage that no moment passes. On the planet, however, darkness overshadows the half that is not facing the sun.
In 1968, American aeronautical engineer Peter Glaeser detailed a possible solution to the problems associated with these defects, a solution that guided him by thinking “outside the box” and looking beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. Instead of building giant solar farms on vast swaths of land that would be exposed to the environmental hazards involved in expanding solar generation, Glaeser proposed moving photovoltaics into Earth’s orbit on fleets of solar-powered satellites, and there, in orbit, where Sunlight is not dimmed by clouds and is not affected by the alternation of day and night. That light can be collected very efficiently, then beamed in microwaves to ground “rectifying antennas” (or rectins), and so on. When the microwaves return to Earth, they can be converted into electricity and pumped into Power distribution networks spread all over the world.
At that time, the cost of launching flights into space was very high, and the performance of photovoltaic cells was very low, and this situation lasted for decades, which prevented the implementation of Glaser’s dazzling idea on the ground, but with the technical progress that we are witnessing today, and in light of the growing need for clean energy The idea of generating solar energy from space has gained new momentum, among its indicators was the launch of experimental projects in this direction in the United States, China, Europe and Japan, and as a new wave of scientific research in this field rises, a question remains open: Will solar energy be proven Space-worthy when it comes to being the center of attention?
Looking towards the future
In the United States, NASA is carefully examining the current and future prospects for solar power generation from space, against the backdrop of the rapid growth of the spacefaring industry and the terrifying threats associated with climate change. In this regard, Nikolai Joseph, a policy analyst in the Office of Technology, Policy and Strategy, leads affiliated with NASA – a team of researchers exploring the dimensions of the energy generation process from space, as part of a study affiliated with the Office of Technology, Policy and Strategy, and is concerned with looking at this method without other methods of energy generation, and Joseph says that it is logical for the Office of Technology and Policy to conduct The strategy is like this study, given the growing global interest in the potential benefits of solar energy derived from space that may change the course of our lives.
“The idea of solar energy derived from space has been interesting for decades, but building and launching spacecraft that could harness this energy has been prohibitively expensive,” Joseph says. “Today there is an opportunity to This situation is changing in light of the technical developments and growth in the space industry that have taken place during the past decade… It is important that we periodically review what is proposed of good ideas, and that we explore the available options towards their implementation, and accordingly, NASA needs to be aware of all possible scenarios in the field; Because the emergence of solar energy derived from space will intersect with and affect many of our other interests in the agency, and the agency should also learn about everything new in space technologies and study all its aspects, in other words, we should always look towards the future.