Japan to Build a Giant Solar Power Space Generator
By September 2nd, 2009Wednesday, September 2, 2009 23:58 on
Japan is developing a solar power station in space that it expects to begin transmitting solar power to earth from an orbit 36,000km above the earth’s within the next 30 years. The giant solar power space generator will cost about $21 billion.
With a total capacity of 1GW, the solar station will be able to power 294,000 Tokyo homes by 2030. Over the next four years, the project will focus on developing technology that will send the electricity generated by the orbiting solar panels back to Earth in the form of microwaves.
In 2015, the government plans to launch a small satellite fitted with solar panels, which will be used to test the effectiveness with which the technology can beam electricity from space through the ionosphere – the outermost layer of Earth’s atmosphere. The station is expected to be fully operational in the 2030s.
However, advocates of space solar projects point out that solar energy at the edge of the Earth’s atmosphere is estimated to be 10 times greater than on the surface, as there is no atmospheric or cloud interference. Much of the technology required to transmit the energy to Earth is also based on existing satellite systems.
[Original Source: Businessgreen]
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