NewEnergyNews: A New Look At Out-Of-This-World Solar

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    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish

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  • TODAY AT NewEnergyNews, May 22:

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Hawaii Leads New Energy Again With Solar Breakthrough
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Grid Modernization Accelerates

    Friday, November 04, 2016

    A New Look At Out-Of-This-World Solar

    What's Next For Solar Energy? How About Space; Scientists are closer than ever to making the far-out concept of a space-based solar collection system a reality

    Michelle Z. Donahue, November 4, 2016 (Smithsonian)

    “…[Solar] can only generate energy while the sun shines…The solution, then, is obvious. Go where the sun never sets: in space…[That’s the vision of scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs in the U.S.,] Japan, China and Europe. Though the concept has been batted around at least since the 1970s, it’s been repeatedly revisited and abandoned because getting all the parts up there, and the people to put it all together, was impossibly expensive. Only with the advent of super small, mass-produced satellites and reusable booster rockets are some beginning to take a much harder look at making space solar a reality…

    There are dozens upon dozens of ideas for how to build a space-based solar collection system, but the basic gist goes something like this: launch and robotically assemble several hundred or thousand identically sized modules in geosynchronous orbit. One part comprises mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto solar panels that convert the energy into electricity. Converters turn that electricity into low-intensity microwaves that are beamed to large, circular receivers on the ground. Those antennae re-convert the microwaves back into electricity, which can be fed into the existing grid…” click here for more

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