First space-to-earth solar power station targeted for Oct. 2010
Sir Charles Shults of Xenotech Research describes their current projects, including assisting deployment of an orbital solar power station; ramping up for manufacturing of an affordable, modular 500W Solar Pod for purchase within six months; and designing a residential wind turbine expected to be 1/3 the cost of others.
They plan for the first proof of concept solar station to be deployed in a low earth orbit of 300 miles in October of 2010, generating around 12-13 kilowatts. The power will be transmitted via precisely-tuned microwave frequencies, and will require “no fly zones” above the receiver area on earth.
By 2012, they intend to deploy a 1 gigawatt (akin to a nuclear power plant output) geosynchronous space solar station up around 22,300 miles, which will be constantly available on earth except during lunar eclipses of the solar station. The intensity of solar energy in space above the Earth’s atmosphere is 1360 watts per square meter, compared to a maximum of 960 Watts/m2, depending on angle through the earth’s atmosphere. (Ref.) Taking into consideration the day-night cycles and cloud cover, an earth-based solar system, even in an ideal location, will only generate about 20% as much power as what the same sized space-based array could generate.
At first, the receiving stations will be fixed-location utilities, but Sir Charles said that in the future, it’s conceivable that one could have a mobile device with a subscription to receive power, very similar to a cell phone account. For this reason, the military has been especially interested in the technology, as it would resolve fuel supply-line issues.
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